Poczobut sentencing 'inhuman' says PM
The Polish prime minister has branded as “inhuman” an eight-year prison sentence handed down by a court in Belarus to a Belarusian-Polish journalist and minority activist.
Andrzej Poczobut was arrested in March 2021 on charges of "instigating hatred against religious and national groups, and rehabilitating Nazism."
He was found guilty and sentenced by a court in the Belarusian town of Grodno on Wednesday.
Reacting to the news, Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poczobut's sentencing was a punishment for his "courageous disclosure of the truth."
"Eight years in prison for Andrzej Poczobut. An inhuman verdict by the Belarusian regime," said Morawiecki. "This is one more example of how Poles are persecuted in Belarus. We will do what we can to help the Polish journalist, who has the courage to speak the truth."
Later on Wednesday, Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, took to Twitter to comment on Poczobut's sentence.
"The Belarusian regime today shamefully sentenced Andrzej Poczobut to eight years in prison. Polish history of the late 20th century shows that the Moscow regents who stand against their own society must fall, and justice will win. Free Belarus and its faithful son Andrzej Poczobut will win!" Duda wrote.
A long-time correspondent for Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, Poczobut was also active for the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), a Polish minority organisation that has been delegalised by the Belarusian authorities.
Poczobut's sentencing comes as the Belarusian regime, according to opposition groups, tightens its control over the country through the use of mass arrests and purges.