The Belarusian court decided to liquidate the “Poloniczka” Cultural and Educational Association. The Polish diaspora organization has been operating since 1996 and dealt with the promotion of Polish culture and tradition, organizing mainly cultural and sports events.
The request for the liquidation of the “Poloniczka” Cultural and Educational Association was submitted by the Legal Department of the Minsk City Hall, based, as reported, on the control of the militia department for combating economic crimes. – We have been accused of activities inconsistent with the statute – said Svetlana Zamotina, who has been the president of “Poloniczka” since 2014.
The association deals with, among others teaching Polish, organizing various sightseeing and sports events, e.g. meetings of Belarusian Poles, a volleyball tournament or a children’s talent festival; propagation of Polish traditions, etc.
Zamotina said that she did not understand what the allegations could refer to, and that the organization’s activities were in line with the provisions of the statute. However, she announced that she would not challenge the court’s decision. This means that in 15 days the association will have to cease its activities.
Liquidated social organizations in Belarus
“Poloniczka” was also accused of disseminating false information that discredits Belarus. The organization is among at least several dozen social organizations operating in Belarus, which have been liquidated by the authorities in recent weeks.
Criminal proceedings related to the activities of the largest Polish minority organization in Belarus – the Union of Poles in Belarus are also pending in Minsk. Its president Andżelika Borys and board member Andrzej Poczobut have been in custody since March on charges of “inciting hatred”. They were recognized as political prisoners by Belarusian human rights defenders.