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Conflict between Belarusian authorities and the Union of Poles is getting worse

2005 2005-07-28T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The interference of the authorities with the activity of the public organization the Union of Poles in Belarus reached its height. In the evening on 27 July at about 10 p.m. the Main Headquarters of the Union of Poles in Hrodna were captured. It is difficult to identify the units of power structures behind this "operation", because the assailants were wearing sports outfits. The leaders of the organization were simply thrown out of the headquarters. The people were forced out of the building and dragged along the ground, one of the oldest members of the organization Liaon Padliakh had his shirt torn. Thus, the authorities installed in the main headquarters of the Union of Poles the former leaders with Tadeusz Kruczkowski at the head. About 20 people were detained, the police cars took them to different police stations of the city. Several journalists were also detained, including Waclaw Radinovicz and Robert Kowalewski from the Gazeta wyborcza. In three hours at about 1 a.m. all of the detained people were released.
On 28 July at 9 o'clock around three tens of the organization's activists gathered near the Union of Poles, showing their indignation at such brutal actions. The entrance to the building was closely watched by high ranking police officers, several people in plain clothes were standing nearby. The chair of the organization Anzhalika Borys, who wanted to get her personal belongings, was not allowed inside. "The correct" leaders are afraid to leave the premises and show themselves to the people. One of the active participants of the televised propaganda, an instructor of the agrarian university Valdermar Krautsevich who had come to the headquarters had to run away against the shouts of the indignant crowd. Though the people, with older women dominating the crowd, were not in an aggressive mood. Those present there sang religious songs and the famous hymn Rota with the lyrics composed by Maria Kanapnitskaya, following which they knelt and started to say prayers.
Meanwhile, "the cold war" between Belarus and Poland continues to get worse. It became known that the Belarusian authorities refused air passage to a Polish aircraft that had planned to fly to Katyn to take part in the commemoration events.

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