Ivianets: criminal case brought against Union of Poles activist

2010 2010-01-06T21:29:40+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Police initiated a criminal case against the head of the Polish House in Ivyanets, Teresa Sobal. At the moment Teresa Sobal is a suspect: a criminal case has been initiated against the activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus which is not recognized by the authorities, under Article 210 Part 2 of the Criminal Code of Belarus, Radio Racyja informs.

Officers of Valozhyn police department charge the women of abusive act allegedly performed by her: in 2004 on order of the former leader of the Union of Poles Tadevush Kruchkouski the Polish House in Ivianets received material aid, which in fact was the ground for opening the criminal case against Teresa Sobal.

Andrei Pachobut, journalist and activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus, believes that actions of the authorities against Teresa Sobal are of provocative nature.

‘5 years have passed since that time, and it means that e the statute of limitation has expired, and after that the law does not allow bringing anybody to account’, Andrei Pachobut said. ‘Despite this, the police initiate a criminal case, and Teresa Sobal faces a trial. To my mind, it looks like another repressive measure against activists of the organization not recognized by the authorities.’

Bear in mind that the Union of Poles in Belarus was split by Belarusian authorities a few years ago. The part of the organization controlled by the authorities is officially recognized. The UPB headed by Anzhalika Borys and supported by the government of Poland is repressed in Belarus.

The Belarusian authorities have difficult relations with the official Warsaw because of the Union of Poles. In the beginning of the Belarusian-Polish conflict in 2005 Aliaksandr Lukashenka charged Poland with ‘brainwashing’ the Belarusian Poles through this Union.

‘Belarusian Poles do not want to live in Poland. We won’t allow making our citizens someone’s marionettes,’ Lukashenka said then. In 2005 the conflict was accompanied by mutual banishing of diplomats.

At the same time, the Polish authorities many times stated that one of the conditions of normalization of the Belarusian-Polish relations is recognition by the Belarusian government of the Union of Poles headed by A.Borys.