Polish official claims Belarusian president takes revenge on his compatriots

The head of the Prime Minister's Office has accused Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, of taking revenge on his own people following a series of operations targeting Belarus's Polish minority

On Friday the president of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), Andzelika Borys, and the head of the local branch office in the western city of Lida, Irena Biernacka, were charged in Minsk with "incitement of hatred."

"It is shocking that the dictator from the eastern border takes revenge on his own citizens, persecuting them only because they are of a different nationality, in this case it is the Polish nationality," Michal Dworczyk told a public radio station.

He added that Poland was trying to help Poles in Belarus as much as possible, emphasising that it is one of the government's priorities.

On Thursday, charges were also brought against other members of the ZPB leadership, Andrzej Poczobut and Maria Tiszkowska. Anna Paniszewa, another Polish activist from Brest in western Belarus, also faces criminal charges.