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The escape of the Polish judge to Belarus was commented on in both the West and the East. “An Unusual Story”

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A Polish judge fled to Belarus – these are the headlines in the world's leading media about the Tomasz Szmydt case. Western ones emphasize that this is an escape to an autocratic country that is close to Putin. They say that this behavior is perceived as betrayal in Poland. Eastern media, in turn, focus on the judge's words and suggest that in Poland he could not speak freely about the situation in his country.

“It's an unusual story” – this is what the French media write about the escape of the Polish judge to Belarus. – Most often, Belarusian refugees seek asylum in Poland to escape the repressive regime in their country, but this judge did the complete opposite – we read on the rfi.fr website

The British press adds that this not only surprised but also angered Polish politicians. – A Polish judge fled to Belarus, claiming he was “persecuted and intimidated” by Donald Tusk's government, but instead sparked accusations that he was a traitor serving Russia's most loyal ally, writes the Financial Times.

The daily reminds that Belarus is under sanctions, among other things, because of its support for the Kremlin's war activities, and Poland “is leading Western efforts to help Ukraine oppose Vladimir Putin's aggression.” Reuters adds that this is one of the reasons why Poland is increasingly becoming the target of hostile actions.

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– Poland, which is the center of Western supplies of military aid to Ukraine, has become the main target of Russian spies. He accuses Moscow and its ally, Belarus, of trying to destabilize, writes the agency.

Moreover, “The Independent” points out that the Polish judge's escape from the country and the fact that he decided to seek political asylum in Belarus takes place at the same time when Western leaders face an increasing risk of hybrid war from Russia. . “Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic have become the target of hacker attacks. Germany temporarily recalled its ambassador to Russia on Monday, and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Russian ambassador for talks in connection with the attacks,” it can be read.

The case of judge Tomasz Szmydt is to be discussed by the College for Secret ServicesJakub Sobieniowski/Fakty TVN

Hero of Russian and Belarusian propaganda

Politico emphasizes that today, relations between Poland and Belarus are at their worst point in decades, and the American media present the activities of judge Tomasz Szmydt himself. “Szmydt (…) gained notoriety in 2019 when, together with his then-wife, he engaged in an online smear campaign against judges critical of changes to the judiciary introduced by PiS,” writes ABC News.

SEE ALSO: “Chewing gum” that may lose its flavor. What fate awaits Szmydt in Belarus?

The Associated Press recalls a statement by a Polish judge to the Belarusian media, in which he allegedly admitted that he was forced to leave the country as a result of disagreements with the current authorities, who – as the American agency explains – announced the restoration of democratic norms after eight years of rule by Law and Justice. – PiS, in power from 2015 to 2023, carried out a number of changes to the judicial system, which gave the party greater power over the courts, undermining the democratic division of power. This led to a dispute with the EU, which ended only on Monday, journalists point out.

Tomasz Szmydt quickly became a hero of both Russian and Belarusian propaganda. The Belarusian Biełta agency assessed that the Polish judge's escape to Minsk was the only way for him to speak freely about the situation in his country.

Author:Angelika Maj

Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: PAP/Rafał Guz

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