Andrzej Poczobut has been sentenced to 8 years' imprisonment by the Grodno Circuit Court, in Belarus. Only family members and Belarusian state media were granted entry into the courtroom.
Poczobut's arrest and sentence have met with widespread condemnation. Łukasz Jasina, spokesperson for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said today, "We condemn the unjust verdict issued by the court of an authoritarian state."
As we reported yesterday:
Andrzej Poczobut, 1973, is a journalist (for the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza) and activist for the Polish minority in Belarus.
Arrested and imprisoned several times since 2011, he has been under arrest since March 2021. He has been charged with two crimes under Belarusian law: "fomenting hatred" and "acting to the detriment of Belarus".
Amnesty International states on their Polish webpage:
"We consider him to be a prisoner of conscience and we call for his immediate release... We strongly condemn the rising wave of persecution, arrests and threats to civil-society activists since the December elections in Belarus. We call on Belarus to immediately release all prisoners of conscience."
Sources: PAP, amnestyinternational.org.pl, wyborcza.pl
Radio Poland's Piotr Miszczuk has this report.
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