"It is clear that Poczobut's trial is politically motivated and that he is innocent" - Members of the European Parliamen wrote in a letter to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, urging her to impose sanctions against all Belarusian authorities involved in the repression of the journalist.
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Brussels, 14 February 2023

Dear Madam President,

A court in Grodno has sentenced Andrzej Poczobut, a prominent journalist and activist for the Polish minority in Belarus, to eight years in a high-security penal colony. The trial was conducted in a closed session by Dzmitry Bubenchyk in the Hrodna regional court and the verdict has nothing to do with justice.

From the very beginning, Poczobut’s case looked like a reprisal for his dissent and long-standing public position. Andrzej Poczobut was arrested on 25 March 2021 and has since been incarcerated in a Belarusian prison. The charges stem from his 2020 coverage of anti-government protests, statements he made defending the Polish minority in Belarus, and his description of the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland as an aggression. Poczobut’s arrest is an attack on press freedom, another act of persecution of Poles in Belarus, and a revenge on Poland for supporting democracy in Belarus. It is clear that Poczobut’s trial is politically motivated and that he is innocent.

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, call on the European Commission to propose sanctions against all people involved in the unjust case and trial of Poczobut. This will serve to increase diplomatic pressure against the Belarusian leadership and all agents of repression in Belarus.


Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz

Marek Belka

Leszek Miller

Łukasz Kohut

Petras Austrevicius

Jouzas Olekas

Sylwia Spurek

Robert Biedroń

Tomas Zdechovsky

Roza Maria Graefin von Thun und Hohenstein

Vladimir Bilcik

Rasa Jukneviciene

Rene Repasi

Isabel Santos

Marketa Gregorova

Ivan Stefanec

Danuta Huebner

Bronis Rope

Krzysztof Hetman

Janina Ochojska

Andrzej Witold Halicki

Bernard Guetta

Magdalena Adamowicz

Jan Olbrycht

Karen Melchior


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