Posted on 12.08.2011 in Belarus, News

Letter on Belarus to Polish PM signed by members of Coalition

Following the arrest of a prominent Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski, Working Group for Belarus (Grupa Robocza ds. Białorusi) appealed to the Prime Minister of Poland to verify practices of cooperation with Belarusian regime.

Last week, Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Centre Viasna was arrested in Minsk. He is accused of using a Lithuanian bank account to support an organisation derecognised in Belarus. However, his detention on charges of “serious tax evasion” is believed to be politically motivated.

Ales Bialatski, WIkipedia
Ales Bialatski, WIkipedia

Information used to approach Bialatski have reportedly been obtained from Lithuanian Ministry of Justice. Some information were handed over to the Belarusian authorities by the Polish public prosecutor’s office. Polish officials explain that they were just following international agreements signed by Poland, but according to the spokesman Marcin Bosacki, after previous repressions of the Belarusin opposition leaders and and guidelines issued by the Prosecutor General, they should have consulted with the Foreign Ministry first.

Working Group for Belarus issued an appeal to the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Signataries were alarmed by the actions of the prosecutor’s office and called for a review of procedures and better coordination when dealing with Belarusian authorities. They view current situation as unacceptable and believe it may question Poland’s efforts and good will towards democratisation of Belarus. They especially wished to verify whether information about other opposition activists had been handed over as well.

The letter was signed by organisations from the Working Group for Belarus, including several members of the Coalition for the European continent undivided by visa barriers: the Stefan Batory Foundation, Free Belarus Initiative, Education for Democracy Foundation and Center for International Relations.

Today Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski appologised for this serious misconduct on the part of the prosecutor’s office and assured that Poland will double its efforts to support democratic opposition in Belarus.

Source: TVN24