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Belarus:Polish minority,5 arrested, Warsaw calls for release

MEPs resolution, Prime Minister Morawiecki also protests

31 March, 21:09
(ANSA) - TRIESTE, 31 MAR - Protests and calls for release by the Polish parliament's deputies and premier Mateusz Morawiecki came after the arrests, in recent days, of five members of the Polish minority - about 300,000 people - living in Belarus.

Poland's Chamber of Deputies has called, in a resolution approved by acclamation, for the "release as soon as possible and the cessation of all repressions against them" and urged "the international community to react in solidarity and firmness to the illegal actions of the Belarusian authorities." The arrests of representatives of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB) took place in recent days, close to the Freedom Day celebrated on March 25 by the opposition, a festivity which the Lukashenko government does not recognize. The Union's president Andzelika Borys, the board member and journalist Andrzej Poczobut, and activists Irena Biernacka and Maria Tiszkowska were arrrested. On March 13, the Polish School of Brest director, Anna Paniszewa, had been arrested. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also intervened on the matter, asking "the Belarusian authorities to solve their internal problems in peace, without taking hostages. That's how I read the latest attack on the Polish community in Belarus." The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the dissolution of the Soviet system left a Polish minority in Belarus, especially around the cities of Grodno and Brest.

The government in Minsk does not tolerate any form of dissent.

In contrast, Europe seems to be even too tolerant, having signed the Eastern Partnership in 2009, and considering Belarus "a reliable partner to be admitted into a democratic orbit", however incompatible with the repression of the Polish minority.


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