10.8 C
Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeWorldNo reversal of the verdict.. The appeal of a Belarusian-Polish journalist who...

No reversal of the verdict.. The appeal of a Belarusian-Polish journalist who was sentenced for criticizing the president was rejected


After covering mass protests against President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Andrzej Bokzobot, a reporter for Poland’s mass-circulation daily newspaper Gazeta Vyborga, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

On Friday, a Belarusian court rejected an appeal by a Belarusian-Polish journalist who was sentenced to eight years in prison, due to reports criticizing the regime of President Alexander Lukashenko.

Andrzej Bokzobot, 50, correspondent for the mass-circulation Polish daily Gazeta Vyborga and an active member of Belarus’s Polish minority, was sentenced in February.

He had extensively covered mass protests against Lukashenko and refused to leave the Moscow-allied country after the authorities launched an unprecedented crackdown on dissent.

The Belarusian Supreme Court said in a statement that the ruling “has not changed, and has entered into force.”

Bokzobot appeared before the judiciary in his hometown of Grodno, near the Polish border, and was convicted of participating in “acts harmful to national security” and “incitement to hatred.”

Poland, Belarus’s neighbor to the west and a member of the European Union, condemned the trial and demanded his release. After the Belarusian judiciary rejected Bokzobot’s appeal, Warsaw said it would impose punitive measures against Lukashenko’s regime next week.

“On Monday I will announce the decision to add several hundred representatives of the Lukashenko regime responsible for political repression to the list of sanctions, including repression against Poles residing in Belarus,” Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said on Twitter.

Since the 2020 protests were harshly contained, the Minsk regime has put hundreds in jail and exiled the majority of critics. According to the human rights group Viasna, there are about 1,511 political prisoners in Belarus.

Poland has become a center for Belarusian exiles, and Minsk specifically points to Warsaw as a particular threat. Belarus became increasingly isolated after it allowed the Kremlin to use its territory as a platform to launch an attack on Ukraine.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Latest stories