The husband writes that after returning to the detention facility, which was clearly unexpected there, he felt “signs of dissatisfaction” – Oksana Poczobut told the Polish Press Agency. As she added, the letters from her husband show that in the Investigative Committee he was presented with “some proposal to which he did not agree”. The proposal could have been for release in exchange for leaving Belarus.
Oksana Poczobut told PAP that her husband was taken (from the custody, where he is still staying) to the Investigative Committee on May 27. During the interview with the investigators, he was offered something that did not suit him. – It was probably supposed to be a “one way trip”. The husband writes that after returning to the detention facility, which was clearly unexpected there, he felt “signs of dissatisfaction” – she added.
Poczobut’s wife also informed that he had been transferred to another cell and considered a “prisoner prone to extremism and destructive acts”. “This, as I understand it, means he is constantly checked, he has to check in often, he is called by staff,” she explained. In her opinion, Andżelika Borys may be in the same situation.
The wife of an activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus, who has been in custody since March as a suspect in a criminal case for alleged incitement to hatred, believes that he may have been offered a trip to Poland without being able to return to Belarus. Three other Polish activists found themselves in this situation – Irena Biernacka, Maria Tiszkowska and Anna Paniszewa.
In a letter to his wife, Andrzej Poczobut informed that on Thursday, May 27, he was taken with his belongings to the Investigative Committee together with Andżelika Borys, president of the Union of Poles in Belarus, also in custody as part of the same criminal case. “I don’t know if they were together at this meeting, for sure he saw Angelika there,” Oksana Poczobut said. – After that departure, he wrote to his daughter that he had a disturbance in his heart rhythm, probably because he did not have time to take a tablet and eat his meal at the right time – she added. In a letter, he asked his daughter not to “tell her mother”.
Investigators have consistently refused permission
In conversations about her husband, Oksana Poczobut often repeats the words – “as I understand, it seems to me” – because he has very little certain and specific information. From the moment her husband is arrested, it is impossible to contact him directly – not even by telephone. The investigator once again refused to give her and the children permission to meet Andrzej Poczobut.
Also, the information from lawyers is very scarce, because – obliged in writing to remain silent about the course of the investigation – they are afraid to talk, even to the suspects’ relatives. In their letters, the arrestees do not write about many things directly, so that they would not be stopped by the censorship.
– I think that he did not agree to the condition that he is to leave Belarus. He is stubborn and very down-to-earth. On the other hand, I am very worried about his health, which is already not good. I don’t want him to spend the rest of his life in treatment after he is released, ”said Oksana Poczobut. She recalled the case of the opposition activist Witold Aszurakwho died in prison under unclear circumstances. “It worries me terribly,” she confessed.
The release of three female activists
June 2 Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed on the release of three activists of Polish organizations from arrest in Belarus.
“As a result of the actions of the Polish diplomatic and consular services, on May 25 Polish minority activists from Belarus came to Poland: Irena Biernacka, Maria Tiszkowska and Anna Paniszewa: these people were given the necessary support and were given appropriate care,” the press release said.
An activist of the Polish organization from Brześć, Anna Paniszewa, as well as four representatives of the Union of Poles in Belarus – Borys, Poczobut, Tiszkowska and Biernacka – were arrested in March.
Criminal proceedings were initiated against five activists under the article of the Criminal Code of Belarus (Article 130 p. 3), which referred to “deliberate actions aimed at inciting hostility on the grounds of race, nationality, religion or other social”.
The Belarusian prosecutor’s office interpreted the activities of ZPB activists as “rehabilitation of Nazism”. The cited article is punishable by imprisonment from five to 12 years.
The ZPB is the largest organization of the Polish minority in Belarus. In 2005, the authorities in Minsk revoked her registration. The statutory goals of the Union of Poles in Belarus include cultivating Polishness, promoting Polish culture, learning the Polish language and fostering Polish memorial sites.
Main photo source: TVN24