Leader of Polish minority in Belarus will not ask for pardon

Andżelika Borys, the head of the Union of Poles in Belarus (ZPB) who has been in custody since March 23, will not ask for a pardon, Poland-based broadcaster Belsat TV announced. Had she resolved to do so, she would have had to plead guilty. Ms Borys is accused of "inciting hatred" and "rehabilitating Nazism."

The Belsat head Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, quoting Andżelika Borys herself, said that the ZPB head had already received three letters from the former opposition activist, now the associate of the Minsk regime of Yury Voskresensky, who included her on his list of people proposed for pardon by Lukashenka.

Voskresensky became a supporter of the Alyaksandr Lukashenka regime after his release from detention last year. He also began compiling lists of people recommended to be pardoned. Voskresensky reportedly asked 630 people to write letters admitting their guilt and asking for a pardon, of which about 200 agreed to do so. Among those who did not ask for clemency and did not agree to the conditions are Polish journalist and activist Andrzej Poczobut, and Andżelika Borys.

In March, Ms Borys, members of the board of the ZPB Andrzej Poczobut, Maria Tiszkowska and Irena Biernacka, and the director of the Polish social school in Brześć, Anna Paniszewa, were arrested and accused of “inciting national hatred and promoting Nazism.”

Allegedly, they were supposed to do it through events for Polish youth devoted to the WWII-era Polish underground state in the Grodno region and the Brest Region. According to an article of the Belarusian Penal Code, they may face up to 12 years of a penal colony.

At the turn of May and June, Mr Poczobut rejected the offer of regaining freedom in exchange for emigration. Andżelika Borys was to make a similar declaration then. In turn, Ms Paniszewa, Ms Biernacka and Ms Tiszkowska agreed to Minsk’s conditions.