22 May 2022, Sunday, 1:28
Sim Sim, Charter 97!

Leader of Union of Poles in Belarus arrested, Tereza Sobal on trial in military base (Updated)

Leader of Union of Poles in Belarus arrested, Tereza Sobal on trial in military base (Updated)

Before the trial over the leader of Ivyanets branch of the Union of Poles, Andzelika Borys, the chairperson of the Union of Poles in Belarus as well as her deputy chairmen and 40 activists of the organisation were arrested.

Today activists of the UPB have planned to go from Hrodna to Valozhyn (Minsk region), where a trial over the leader of Ivyanets of the UPB Tereza Sobal (Teresa Sobol) was to take place.

Myachyslau Yaskevich, a deputy chairman of the UPB, and Ihar Bantser, Spokesperson of the organisation, were detained in Hrodna, when they were getting into the car. Policemen handed in summons to the court to them for a rally held last week in Hrodna as a sign of solidarity with persecuted activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus not recognized by the authorities. Then they were taken to the police department under police convoy. The charter97.org website was told about that by an activist of the organisation, a journalist Andrzej Poczobut.

At the noon in the court of Leninski district of Hrodna, a spokesperson of the Union of Poles Ihar Bantsar was sentenced to 5 days of detention for organising a rally in support of Tereza Sobal on February 10.

An hour later a deputy chairman of the Union of Poles Myachyslau Yaskevich was sentenced to 5 days of arrest. He was charged with participation in the same rally.

Ihar Bantsar announced a hunger strike expressing his disagreement with the ruling of the court.

Andrzej Poczobut, who had a summons to the court for 3 p.m. on February 15, was given a lift to Ivye, however traffic policemen detained him there. Law-enforcers stated that the activist resembled a criminal searched for an armed assault in Hrodna, and took him back to the city.

The court of Leninski district sentenced Andrzej Poczobut to 5 days of arrest for participation in the same rally of solidarity with Tereza Sobal.

Andzelika Borys, the leader of the Union of Poles, was detained in Ivyanets. She was placed in a car and taken to Hrodna to the court. For participation in the rally on February 10 the chairperson of the UPB is sentenced to a fine of Br 1 million 50 thousand (USD 360).

As Radio Svaboda was told by one of the activists of the Union of Poles who was on his way to court to Valozhyn, many cars were stopped by policemen on the road to Valozhyn. About 40 persons were kept in a community police office not far from Valozhyn for a few hours. The documents of the detained were seized.

Dozens of persons, mostly elderly ones, got to Valozhyn on foot, as cars in which they were travelling were detained on the road to the town.

A closed trial over Tereza Sobal has been held in Valozhyn today. The chairperson of Ivyanets branch of the UPB not recognized by the authorities was charged with alleged “unauthorized” seizure of the building of the Polish House. The suit against Tereza Sobal was filed by the leader of the local branch of the pro-regime Union of Poles Stanislau Buracheuski.

The trial was not held in the building of the court, but at the territory of a military base. Nobody was allowed to enter under a pretext that “military exercises” were held there at that moment.

Polish consul Marek Martinek who had arrived from Minsk, wasn’t allowed to attend the trial as well. Near the building where the trial was taking place, policemen detained the leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka. By his mobile phone he was making pictures of policemen’s actions preventing activists of the Union of Poles to the territory of the military base.

The editor-in-chief of newspaper «Glos znad Niemna na uchodzstwie» published in Polish, Irena Waluś, was detained as well. A report was drawn up against her. Policemen decided that the journalist insulted the leader of the pro-regime organisation’s branch in Ivyanets Stanislau Buracheuski. The administrative report against Irena Waluś is to be considered in the next few days in Hrodna.

As BelaPAN was told by the member of the General council of the organisation Andrzej Pisalnik, Tereza Sobal and her lawyer Alyaksandr Halieu took part in the trial at the side of the defendant, and the chairperson of Ivyanets branch of the pro-regime UPB Stanislau Buracheuski and the chairman of Minsk regional branch of the official” union Myachyslau Lysy represented the complainant.

As said by Pisalnik, Halieu had stated several motions, including the one about a necessity to interrogate witnesses and make a new property inventory of property in the Polish House. “The lawyer believes that the first property inventory made without participation of the representatives of the unregistered UPB, does not correspond to the facts fully,” Pisalnik said.

The trial for the case of Teresa Sobal has scheduled the second preliminary session. Participants of the trial are to be informed about the date of the second preliminary session by summons.

We remind that on February 8 the Polish House was seized by policemen. All the activists of the UPB headed by Tereza Sobal were evicted from the building with the use of force, and Stanislau Buracheuski was invited inside under convoy of armed guards.

The Union of Poles was split in 2005. One part remains loyal to the authorities and is officially recognized by them. The activists of the UPB not recognized by the regime, headed by Andzelika Borys, are persecuted by the authorities.