Belarusian political prisoner named honorary citizen of Warsaw

Andrzej Poczobut

Andrzej Poczobut /

Belarusian political prisoner Andrzej Poczobut recently became an honorary citizen of Warsaw. The decision was made by the deputies of the Polish capital's city council.

"If we can't force the regime to release him, we can make sure that there is no silence about his case," quoted politician Robert Tyszkiewicz as saying.

Poczobut is one of the leaders of the independent Union of Poles in Belarus. He was arrested in Belarus on March 25, 2021. For the publication about the events of September 1939, the journalist was accused of "incitement to hostility on ethnic grounds", as the authorities assessed the fact that he called the Soviet attack on Poland an aggression. Also included in the materials of the criminal case were the journalist's statements in defence of the Polish minority in Belarus, an article about the suppression of Belarusian protests in 2020, and a text from 2006 about one of the commanders of the Polish anti-communist underground in Hrodna. Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced to eight years in a medium-security penal colony on charges of "calling for sanctions" and "inciting social discord". The KGB put him on the "list of persons involved in terrorist activities".

The political prisoner was offered to write a petition for clemency, but he refused. 

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