Five Polish prisoners released from Belarusian prisons

Darek Delmanowicz/PAP

Five Polish citizens were released from Belarusian prisons by Thursday night, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz announced on Friday morning.

"Let me inform that five persons have already been released from prison. Three in the Minsk district, and two persons in Grodno," Przydacz told the Siodma9 catholic radio broadcaster on Friday.

Przydacz added that Warsaw University students, who had been in Belarus, were released on Thursday evening. "They are under the protection of the Polish Embassy," he said.

Przydacz stated that he had talked to them on the phone, and informed that they were well despite their detention, traumatic experience and having been beaten up. "I hope that they will be able to return to Poland soon, and that they will receive medical treatment if necessary," he said.

He also said that he had ordered all consuls in Belarus "to be in touch with all detention facilities." "Our consuls have been visiting all detention facilities and seeking Polish citizens. Some information might have not reached us. We want to help all our citizens," he declared.

At least two protesters have died and around 6,700 were detained this week in a crackdown following Alexander Lukashenko's contested re-election that has prompted the West to consider new sanctions on Minsk. The protesters accuse Lukashenko of rigging last Sunday's presidential election to win a sixth term.