Prześladowanie Polaków na Białorusi
Od kilku dni władze w Mińsku zaostrzyły bezwzględne represje wobec mniejszości na Białorusi. Za działania na rzecz polskości aresztowano Andżelikę Borys i Andrzeja Poczobuta.
The authorities in Minsk, Belarus have stepped up the repressions of the minorities in Belarus. The most obvious victims of these actions are members of the Polish minority. On the 23rd of March, Andżelika Borys, President of the Union of Poles in Belarus, was detained in the city of Hrodna on fabricated charges of allegedly violating the rules on holding mass events. Two days later, a journalist, a blogger and a senior member of the Association of Poles in Belarus were also detained. Andżelika Borys was sentenced to 15 days of confinement.
Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the charge d’affaires of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus. The diplomatic representative of Belarus received a clear message that the actions taken by the Belarusian authorities are contrary to that country’s international obligations to protect national minorities as well as Polish-Belarusian bilateral commitments to protect the Polish national minority. The activities of the Union of Poles in Belarus focus on cultivating Polish culture and tradition as well as supporting Polish education and Polish language learning. The arrests are tantamount to eliminating Polish identity and not only deal a blow to the good relations with Poland but also inflict damage to Belarus’s traditional multiculturalism. We call for the President of the Union of Poles in Belarus and any other members of the Polish minority detained to be released at the earliest opportunity and for an end to the arbitrary persecution of representatives of the Polish minority.
Minorities have the right to freedom of speech, to foster their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity. Minorities cannot be prosecuted for cultivating their heritage. The freedom is guaranteed by the Treaty between Poland and Belarus from 1992 and other acts of international law. The Polish minority in Belarus totals 300,000 to 1.1 million. They want to remember their ancestors and cultivate traditions, like other minorities do. They are helped by the Union of Poles in Belarus, which supports culture and education.
In a strong statement, Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki called upon the authorities in Minsk to release members of the Polish community from detainment: “I call on the Belarusian authorities to calmly solve their internal problems without taking hostages, because this is how I view the latest attack on the Polish community living in Belarus.” He also mentioned that he would raise the issue of detentions at an EU summit on Thursday.
We urge the international community to support the just cause. #FreePolesInBelarus.
Write about it, talk about it, tweet, share. Together, we can exert pressure on Belarus authorities to respect the international law and respect minorities. @PlinTurkey