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Dear Andrzej,

It is already the second letter I am sending you to prison. Almost 10 years ago, the Belarusian regime put you behind bars because you dared to call Alexander Lukashenko a dictator in an article published in Gazeta Wyborcza. Even back then, there was no doubt that what you have said is true. Today, after six months of Lukashenko's brutal fight for power with a society whose will is nothing less but to be free, we can clearly see that the Belarusian dictator's hands are all covered in blood.

Ten years ago, I wrote:

"Lukashenko’s decision to put you and other Belarusian democrats in prison is a glorifying act for you, and a disgrace for him. You have now been placed next to the greats of our time: Mandela and Havel, Solzhenitsyn and Kuroń. All of them went through the hell of prison dictatorship, and all of them lived to see the end of the wretched regimes that took away their freedom”.  

None of these words have lost their relevance.

The ongoing peaceful revolution in Belarus gives hope to entire Europe. We admire the courageous people who continue to resist the dictator despite suffering cruel repressions.  We also admire you, Andrzej, for continuing your journalistic work and explaining what is happening in Belarus to Polish readers despite the threat of imprisonment. Now, when Lukashenka has made you a political prisoner, we will move heaven and earth to set you free.

In August, Lukashenko tried to demonstrate his power by photographing himself holding a Kalashnikov. Today, as his dictatorship comes crumbling down even more, in order to show his strength, he is resorting to old authoritarian methods: persecuting national minorities, arresting journalists. He has already lost; his end is sealed.

Ten years ago, I also wrote you that even after the longest night, the sun will rise again.

I am certain that the sun will soon rise for you and all the other political prisoners of Lukashenko's regime. You will leave the prison in dignity and pride, facing the bright, rising sun of freedom. 

***

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic. Our journalists are on the front lines in 25 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

We decided to make our service available to everyone free of charge in order to provide access to high quality journalism for expats and English speakers interested in Polish affairs. 

The access to information should be equal for all. 

Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
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