Polish activists in Belarus return home after being taken for interrogation

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TVN24 News in English, PAP
Polacy na Białorusi oskarżani o sianie nienawiści narodowościowej i gloryfikację hitleryzmu TVN24
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TVN24Polacy na Białorusi oskarżani o sianie nienawiści narodowościowej i gloryfikację hitleryzmu

Two members of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), Andrzej Pisalnik and his wife Iness Todryk-Pisalnik have been already released and returned to their home in Grodno. On Wednesday morning they were detained by the police and taken to Minsk for interrogation in relation to the ZPB board members, including Andżelika Borys and Andrzej Poczobut, who are under investigation.

Two further members of the Union of Poles in Belarus - husband and wife Andrzej Pisalnik and Iness Todryk-Pisalnik - were detained on Wednesday morning in their home in Grodno, and then taken to Minsk for interrogation.

"In the morning, the officers pulled us out our beds and told us we would be interrogated in Minsk" - Andrzej Pisalnik told Polish Press Agency on Wednesday evening. The police did not search their home, only confiscated their phones for the day.

The Pisalniks told PAP they have a witness status in the case regarding "inciting to hatred based on nationality", in which the police have arrested Andżelika Borys, Andrzej Poczobut, Irena Biernacka and Maria Tiszkowska - all board members of the Union of Poles in Belarus.

The couple were escorted by six masked officers to the Investigative Committee in Minsk, where they were questioned separately. The interrogation took approx. 4-5 hours.

Iness Todryk-Pisalnik told PAP that during the arrest their young son had been present, and they had to leave him at his grandmother's place.

Also in the morning, Andrzej Pisalnik told Polish Radio in a phone call that the police had entered to his home. Later on, he could not be reached.

Belarusian authorities have warned Pisalnik, who has spoken out publicly against the country's recent "anti-Polish campaign", that he has been violating the "law on national minorities and counteracting extremism".

Pisalnik and his wife are both ZPB activists and work for Znadniemna.pl portal.

For the alleged "inciting of hatred based on nationality" and "rehabilitation of Nazism" the four ZPB board members are facing 5-12 years in prison.

Belarusian authorities accuse the ZPB activists, and Polish activist from Brest Anna Paniszewa (also under arrest) of "propagating war criminals, including Romuald Rajs Bury". The activists dismiss the accusations as groundless.

Poland and other EU states, as well as various rights groups have called on Belarus to immediately release Polish activists and respect international human rights standards.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Facebook/Andrzej Pisalnik