Detentions and trials of members of disgraced Union of Poles
In Hrodna, the police detained Ihar Banatsar, press secretary of the Union of Poles in Belarus. Mechyslau Yaskevich and Andrei Pachobut, UPB members, were detained on the way to Minsk.
10.20 a.m. Ihar Bantsar and Mechyslau Yaskevich were guarded to court.
10.30 Anzhalika Borys, UPB Chairperson was detained in Ivianets where she had come to support Teresa Sobal, the Chairperson of the Ivianets branch of the dissenting Union of Poles who is charged with alleged ‘unauthorized seizure of the building of the Polish House. The lawsuit against Teresa Sobal was lodged by Stanislau Buracheuski, leader of the local branch of the pro-regime Union of Poles.
Bear in mind that on 8 February the Polish House was seized by policemen. All activists of the UPB headed by Tereza Sobal were evicted with the use of force, and Stanislau Buracheuski was invited inside under convoy of armed guards.
10.50 Ihar Bantsar sent to RFE/RL an SMS that he was being tried for organizing an unauthorized rally on 10 February near the Polish House in Hrodna, and Mechyslau Yaskevich was awaiting trial under the same charges.
11.00 According to information of a UPB activist, many cars were detained at the entrance to Valozhyn and about 20 people were kept in a police station not far from Valozhyn.
11.05 Teresa Sobal, UPB activist, was tried not in a court, but on the territory of a military union in Valozhyn. Nobody was allowed to enter the military union, (even the Polish Consul Marek Marcinek who came there from Minsk), allegedly because of ‘military training’.
11.20 Ihar Bantsar and Mechyslay Yaskevich were tried at the Leninski district court in Hrodna on charges in organizing an unauthorized rally.
11.30 Anatol Liabedzka, Chairperson of the United Civil Party, was detained in Valozhyn.
11.50 Ihar Bantsar was sentenced to five days of arrest for participation in the unauthorized rally near the Polish House in Hrodna on 10 February.
12.15 About 40 UPB activists are kept in detention. All of them were going to the trial of Teresa Sobal in Valozhyn. Most of them are elderly people, who managed to walk five kilometers to the town of Valozhyn after their cars had been stopped by the road police. The military unit is ringed by people in civvies and police. Nobody is let in. Some 30-40 people who came to the trial, but didn’t manage to get in, stand nearby.
12.21 Irena Valius, chief editor of Glos znad Niemna na uchodzstwie, newspaper of the Union of Poles not recognized by the authorities, tried to come to the
1.15 Aliaksandr Haliyeu, Teresa Sobal’s lawyer, told RFE/RL that on 15 February a preliminary meeting of the sides took place at the Valozhyn district court. The sides specified their mutual pretensions. ‘Another such meeting will be held later, as our side has presented documents that the inventory of property was composed incorrectly,’ added Mr. Haliyeu.
1.30 Ihar Bantsar went on a hunger-strike of protest.
3.50 Police drove Anzhalika Borys to the Leninski district police department in Hrodna.