Pope personally requested release of Belarusian political prisoners

On August 25, State Secretary of Pope Francis, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, met with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Belarus Alena Kupchyna. They discussed the decision of Alyaksandr Lukashenka "to release some prisoners as a humanitarian act in response to a request made by the EU, the US and the Roman Pontiff." This is what website catholic.by reported referring to the Apostolic nunciature in Belarus.

According to the Apostolic Nunciature, Pope Francis personally interceded for the release of political prisoners.

August 22 saw the release of Mikalai Statkevich, Mikalai Dzyadok, Ihar Alinevich, Yauhen Vaskovich, Artsiom Prakapenka and Yury Rubtsou. They were released in accordance with the decree of Lukashenka who pardoned them.

It was reported in early July that the president of Belarus could visit the Vatican. It was assumed that before this trip Lukashenka could release political prisoners from jail. The readiness of the Vatican to accept the Belarusian leader was expressed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin during his visit to Minsk in March. However, there is no information about the date of Lukashenka's trip to the Holy See, reported BelaPAN.

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