Polish activist in Belarus's arrest extended by three months
The head of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), Andżelika Borys, has had her arrest extended by three months by the Belarusian authorities, the ZPB website reported on Friday.
According to the Znadniemna.pl website, the temporary arrest of Maria Tiszkowska, head of the ZPB's Vawkavysk branch in southwestern Belarus, was also extended.
The website expressed suspicion that a similar decision would be taken in the case of other union leaders - Andrzej Poczobut and Irena Biernacka.
Borys is one of a number of ZPB officials arrested in recent weeks amid a crackdown on the organisation. They have been charged with "inciting hatred" and "rehabilitating Nazism." All the ZPB officials face up to 12 years imprisonment for the charges against them. The European Commission has called on Minsk to cease the union members' persecution.
Seated in Grodno, a city with a large Polish population, the ZPB is the biggest Polish diaspora organisation in Belarus. In 2005, the authorities in Minsk revoked its registration. The union's statutory activities include nurturing Polishness and Polish culture, teaching the language and maintaining memorial sites.