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Belarus. Andrzej Poczobut sentenced. The US State Department comments

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Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced to eight years in prison in Belarus. We reiterate our call on the Belarusian authorities to end the brutal repression of civil society,” a U.S. State Department spokesman said in a statement. In his opinion, the conviction of Andrzej Poczobut by the court in Grodno is another proof of “total contempt for human rights” by the Belarusian authorities.

“We strongly condemn the politically motivated conviction of journalist Andrzej Poczobut. Poczobut is a renowned journalist who courageously covered the protests after the 2020 presidential election and was a key member of the Union of Poles in Belarusa group representing a large Polish minority in Belarus, which was the target of attacks by the Belarusian authorities, the ministry’s representative said in a statement sent to PAP.

WATCH ON TVN24 GO: The story of Andrzej Poczobut. “It’s not just a domestic issue, it’s also an international issue.”

Renewed appeal to the regime in Minsk

As he added, the sentence against Poczobut is further evidence of “total contempt for human rights and fundamental freedoms of people in Belarus.

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“We reiterate our call on the Belarusian authorities to end the brutal repression of civil society and to release more than 1,400 political prisoners immediately,” the official said.

A manifestation of solidarity with Andrzej Poczobut Artur Reszko/PAP

Poczobut in front of a Belarusian court LEONID SHCHEGLOV/AFP/East News

“Shameful Judgment”

On Wednesday, the district court in Grodno found Andrzej Poczobut guilty of “activities aimed at inciting hostility and hatred on national, religious and social grounds” and “calls to act to the detriment of Belarus”, and sentenced him to eight years in a high-security penal colony. Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs it called the political verdict “shameful”.

WATCH ON TVN 24 GO: Andrzej Poczobut – Lukashenko’s prisoner

A 49-year-old activist of the Polish minority, a member of the authorities of the Union of Poles in Belarus and a well-known journalist from Grodno, was detained in March 2021. According to the Belarusian court, Poczobut was to “call for actions to the detriment of Belarus” through publications in the media and the Internet, and to commit “deliberate actions aimed at inciting hostility and hatred on national, religious and social grounds.” Since his arrest, the journalist has been constantly in custody. He was unable to meet his family.

Main photo source: Artur Reszko/PAP



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