Vital Szyszou, an opposition activist from Belarus, who lived in Ukraine, is dead. He was found dead in a park in Kiev. His friends and colleagues say outright that this is a murder behind which the regime is behind. Members of the Union of Poles in Belarus have been in custody for over four months, including the journalist Andrzej Poczobut, whose wife Sylwia Piestrzyńska spoke to. The Belarusian regime goes even further. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
Andrzej Poczobut talked about how dangerous the Lukashenka regime is, connecting with journalists, usually from his own home. From the same room, against the background of the same wall, his wife Oksana is talking to reporters instead of him, who has only a letter contact with her husband in prison. – Belarusian prison not only deprives people of freedom. They also deprive health and even life – says Oksana Poczobut.
Andrzej Poczobut is in the Żodzina detention center near Minsk, considered one of the toughest prisons in Belarus. Together with four Polish women from the Union of Poles in Belarus, including the head of the union, he was accused of inciting Nazism. Everyone is facing up to 12 years in prison.
Thanks to the support of the Polish government, three Polish women were freed, but forced to leave Belarus. “I don’t know if it can be called freedom if you leave home and never come back,” says Oksana Poczobut.
She says her husband cannot write it outright, but suggests that he, too, has been offered a deportation. Refused. – If he can be broken for a trip, it means that he is guilty, and he is not guilty at all – emphasizes Oksana Poczobut.
For Alyaksandr Lukashenka, the fact that someone is innocent does not matter. After the rigging of the next presidential election a year ago and the suppression of mass protests, month by month the regime is moving further and further. The recent attempt to take the Olympic athlete Kryscina Cimanouska from Tokyo out of Tokyo is one example. Three months ago, Belarusian services forced a European plane to land in Minsk to arrest a blogger who was critical of the government.
Death of a Belarusian activist in Kiev
On Tuesday morning in Kiev, the body of a young Belarusian activist was found who criticized the Lukashenka regime and ran a website about agents of the Belarusian KGB tracking the opposition abroad. On Monday he went jogging to the park and never came back. – I am convinced that it was a murder committed by the Belarusian KGB. Mr. Szyszou did not have any mental problems, he fled a few months ago with his girlfriend to Kiev – points out the president of the Belarusian House in Warsaw, Ales Zarembiuk.
In Kiev, Vital Szyszou was in charge of the Belarusian House. His counterpart in Warsaw also feels threatened. – Over the last few months, my colleagues and I have been followed here in Poland, in Wrocław, Białystok and Warsaw – says Aleś Zarembiuk.
The Polish government offered Belarusian activists to protect the police. The president of the Belarusian House has not yet decided on it. Such help was accepted by the Center of Belarusian Solidarity. “Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s special services operate as they please in foreign countries,” says Alina Kouszyk, board member of the Belarusian Solidarity Center.
Poland offers Belarusian humanitarian visas
– We make every effort to ensure that those who are in Poland feel safe – says Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcin Przydacz.
During the year, 10,000 Belarusians took advantage of the humanitarian visa, which facilitates their entry to Poland.
Ukraine is shocked – people are protesting in front of the Belarusian embassy, because it is mainly to Ukraine and Poland that the Belarusians who are persecuted in their home country flee. There are over 600 people in Belarusian prisons for political reasons. Andrzej Poczobut also drew attention to the mass arrests before his own arrest. – Most of his friends from Belarus are already in prison or have left – says Oksana Poczobut.
Main photo source: STEPAN FRANKO / PAP / EPA