The men who were detained, Witold Dobrowolski and Kacper Siennicki are now back in Poland and landed at Warsaw Chopin Airport on Friday afternoon. The journalists were arrested in Minsk but thanks to an intervention by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Polish embassy in Belarus they were set free. They said that they were "battered" but now glad to have "returned home safely".
The journalists explained that “immediately after arriving at the police station we were put facedown on the ground and were threatened that all their teeth would be knocked out. This is what the first shift did, while the second shift of officers made us stand facing the wall for several hours. The third one made us kneel with our foreheads on the ground. Our hands were handcuffed behind our backs, holding us in such poses was a form of torture. When we asked for water, we were beaten with clubs, we were also beaten at each interrogation and when the protocol was drawn up”, they told the media at the airport.
Both men thanked Polish diplomacy for their help and their families and other people involved in their release, “we are very impressed and grateful for this help. It was hard - the embassy itself had a hard time finding out what was happening to us and what had happened. When we left the prison, they took good care of us” they noted.
After Sunday's presidential elections in Belarus, which, according to official results, were once again won by Aleksander Lukashenka, who has been in power for 26 years, protests against alleged electoral fraud took place and are still ongoing in many cities throughout the country. Since they began, the authorities have detained, often brutally, several thousand people.