Poland wants EU sanctions on persecutors of Poczobut
Poland will demand that those responsible for convicting and jailing Andrzej Poczobut, a Polish-Belarusian activist, be placed on an EU sanctions list, a Polish deputy foreign minister has said.
Poczobut, who is also a journalist, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in the Belarusian town of Grodno on Wednesday. Arrested in March 2021, Poczobut had been accused of "instigating hatred against religious and national groups, and rehabilitating Nazism."
"In accordance with the resolution adopted by the Polish Sejm, the lower house of parliament, and the decision taken by the Polish interior minister, people responsible for the conviction and jailing of Andrzej Poczobut will be placed on a Polish sanctions list," Piotr Wawrzyk told PAP on Thursday.
"And we will also be calling on our partners to include these people on an EU sanctions list," Wawrzyk said.
In their resolution, Polish MPs condemned the verdict and called for immediate sanctions to be imposed by Poland and the European Union on those who represented the Belarusian apparatus of repression and people involved in the persecution of Andrzej Poczobut.
Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said that he had ordered his services to prepare motions to expand the sanctions list with the names of more people who are connected with the Lukashenko regime and who are responsible for repressions against Poles living in Belarus.
Poczobut was active for the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), a Polish minority organisation that has been delegalised by the Belarusian authorities.
The sanctions list includes names of people who support both Russia's war on Ukraine and the violation of human rights in Russia and Belarus. It was first published last April.