A rally of support for Andrzej Poczobut began in front of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw at 20.30. The Polish journalist has been in a Belarusian prison for six months. As part of the solidarity campaign, the image of a journalist will illuminate the facade of the Palace of Culture and Science throughout the night. The coverage of the event can be watched on TVN24.
The date of the event is not accidental, because Saturday is six months since Andrzej Poczobut lost his freedom. Andżelika Borys, head of the Union of Poles in Belarus, is also in custody. Many Polish editorial offices and journalists are calling for their release. Hence the action #ReleasePoczobuta.
The image of a journalist at the Palace of Culture and Science
After 8 p.m. on the building of the Palace of Culture and Science, from the side of the main entrance at Marszałkowska Street, an image of a Polish journalist with the inscription “Free Andrzej Poczobut” was displayed. The Palace of Culture and Science will look like this all night long.
On Saturday evening, in the center of Warsaw, a letter from the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Cichanouska, will be read out. During the event, the speakers will be Adam Michnik, editor-in-chief of “Gazeta Wyborcza” and Paweł Łatuszka, former ambassador of Belarus in Warsaw, today a member of the opposition Coordination Council. The Belarusian singer Nasta Niakrasava will perform in her native language a version of Jacek Kaczmarski’s “Walls” to the accompaniment of Jacek Kleyff.
Polish activists in a Belarusian prison
Borys and Poczobut are in custody in Żodzina under severe conditions. The authorities accuse them of “inciting hatred”. On Thursday, six months have passed since the arrest of Borys, the head of the Union of Poles in Belarus. On Saturday, six months have passed since the detention of Poczobut, an activist of the independent Union of Poles in Belarus and a correspondent of “Gazeta Wyborcza”.
Many Polish independent media joined the action #ReleasePoczobuta initiated by the Grand Press Foundation. “Let us not let the public and politicians forget about the Poles detained without sentence by the Belarusian regime. Let the Polish media show that we do not forget about our colleague” reads the appeal for the journalist’s release.
The editorial offices of TVN24 and “Fakt” TVN, Wirtualna Polska, “Polityka”, Radio Zet, Newsweek, “Rzeczpospolita”, OKO.Press, Onet, “Tygodnik Podhalański” “, many other local newspapers as well as the” Press “magazine and the Press portal.
Case deemed politically motivated
The criminal case against Andżelika Borys and Andrzej Poczobut was considered politically motivated. The Polish government is demanding their release. President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda during his speech at the 76th session of the UN General AssemblyOn Wednesday night in Polish time, he argued for the rights of Belarusian oppositionists and activists of the Polish minority. He demanded the release of all political prisoners in Belarus.
The Belarusian authorities are setting conditions. Andrzej Poczobut’s wife reported in September that he had already received a letter three times from the politician Andrei Waskrasieński, who promoted “amnesty”, who urged him to write a “secret letter” to Alyaksandr Lukashenka asking for a pardon. A Polish activist and journalist did not agree to write it. Andżelika Borys probably also refuses to do so.
Ales Zarembiuk, head of the Belarusian House foundation in Warsaw, who was a guest on TVN24 on Saturday, said that Andrzej Poczobut “is very likely tortured”. – Unfortunately, such information has already reached his wife from prison several times – he added.
Main photo source: TVN24