Investigation launched into unlawful imprisonment of three Poles in Belarus

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The National Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into "unlawful imprisonment" of three Polish citizens in Belarus, "carried out with extreme cruelty". The men were detained in August during protests in Minsk that had erupted after Belarusian presidential election.

The investigation into imprisoning Polish citizens in Belarus has been launched by the Organised Crime and Corruption Department of the National Public Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw. The inquiry announced on Monday has been already started on August 26.

"The investigation has been launched into unlawful imprisonment carried out with extreme cruelty, that took place on August 10-13 in Minsk, Belarus. The victims are three citizens of Poland" - the National Public Prosecutor's Office informed.

According to the prosecutor's office, the unlawful imprisonment with extreme torment carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Witold Dobrowolski was detained in BelarusTVN24

"15 hours of beating, torture, intimidation"

Three Polish citizens were arrested on August 11, during the ongoing mass protests in Minsk against the presidential election, widely contested as rigged. After Poland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs had intervened, the three men were released on August 13. Two of them returned to Poland the day next day. At the airport, they told reporters about their ordeal.

"They locked us in a basement of sorts, it was a sports hall, hundreds of people were placed inside. The beating began, they tortured us for dozens of hours," Kacper Sienicki said.

"15 hours of beating, torture, intimidation. We weren't the only ones. I think that at least a thousand people went through this room" - said Witold Dobrowolski.

The third man, Patryk Jaracz, also shared his story. "Next to me squatted a man bleeding from the head. They told us to kneel against the wall with our hands extended forward," he said. "After an hour or so, they took us to a cell. They found out I was Polish. I felt relieved, as I thought that nothing could happen to me, but I spent there a few hours kneeling with my hands behind my head," Jaracz explained.

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Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, tvn24.pl