Poland’s Embassy concerned over detention of Union of Poles activists
The Embassy of Poland in Minsk expresses its concern over the mass detention of activists of the unofficial Union of Poles in Belarus.
“The Embassy is concerned over the situation with the unofficial Union of Poles in Belarus and escalation of the conflict, initiated by the authorized Union of Poles led by Iosif Luchnik. All arrangements on status quo of the organization are in question now,” BelaPAN quotes the statement of the Polish diplomatic mission in Minsk.
The Embassy will inform the Polish Foreign Ministry on mass detentions of activists of the unofficial Union of Poles.
We remind that activists of the unofficial Union of Poles were detained in Belarus on January 21. The people coming to support the head of the Polish House in Ivyanets and not to allow the authorities to take away the building were detained. Dozens of people have been detained.
We remind that the Union of Poles in Belarus was split by Belarusian authorities a few years ago. The part of the organisation controlled by the authorities is officially recognized. The UPB headed by Andzelika Borys and supported by the government of Poland is repressed in Belarus.
Belarusian authorities have difficult relations with official Warsaw because of the Union of Poles. In the beginning of the Belarusian-Polish conflict in 2005 Alyaksandr Lukashenka charged Poland with “brainwashing” 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, Polish authorities many times stated that one of the conditions of normalization of Belarusian-Polish relations is recognition by Belarusian government of the Union of Poles headed by Andzelika Borys.