Belarus clears head of the delegalized Association of Poles of criminal charges

The move represented a surprising twist in Polish-Belarusian relations

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
Andżelika Borys, source Belsat TV.

Andżelika Borys, the head of the Association of Poles in Belarus, which has been delegalized by the Alexander Lukashenko regime, has been cleared of the criminal charges against her and released from house arrest.

The Polish Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Łukasz Jasina said the Polish authorities were content to see that Andżelika Borys had been cleared of false charges and that she would soon be able to visit Poland.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Jasina said, adding that the Polish government was counting on a similar decision being taken with regard to political prisoners, including the Polish activist and journalist Andrzej Poczobut. However, he denied there had been any trade-off, saying that it was a unilateral decision taken by the Belarusian authorities. 

Polish broadcaster, Belsat TV, reported on Wednesday that the Belarusian prosecutors, two years after Andżelika Borys’ arrest, had finally decided that no crime had been committed. According to Belsat TV, Borys was summoned to the capital city of Minsk where she was informed that the case against her had been shelved. She was also promised the return of her belongings that had been confiscated.  

Both Andżelika Borys and Andrzej Poczobut were arrested in 2021 and charged with inciting hatred and promoting Nazism. Three other activists from the Association of Poles in Belarus were also arrested at the same time; they were later released and allowed to leave Belarus for Poland, but without the right to return. Andrzej Poczobut has been convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. He is appealing the court’s verdict to the Belarusian Supreme Court. 

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