On 27 June 2012, the Belarusian militia raided the Grodno headquarters of the company Kresovia, which provides financial and organisational backing for the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB), an organisation which is not recognised by the Minsk government. The officials confiscated all nine computers, which were the property of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Belarus, and the company’s doors were sealed. Previously, copies of the newspaper Głos znad Niemna na uchodźstwie (‘Voice from Over the Niemen in Exile’) were seized from a room rented by Andrzej Poczobut.
The seizure is linked to the investigation in the case against Andrzej Poczobut, a ZPB activist and journalist at a Polish newspaper, who was arrested on 21 June on suspicion of defaming President Alexander Lukashenko. The Union of Poles in Belarus has been deprived of its IT equipment, which will make it hard for the organisation to continue its activities.
The actions by the Belarusian authorities are a further example of persecution and repression against ZPB activists and an attempt to prevent the organisation from continuing its activities. ZPB activists are repressed by the Minsk authorities, criminal cases are opened against them, members of this Polish organisation are often arrested and have fines imposed on them, and the organisation’s picket lines are brutally broken up by the militia.
In view of this, will the Commission intervene in the confiscation of IT equipment owned by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Belarus, and will it voice its opposition to the obvious repression and persecution of the ZPB by the Belarusian authorities?