Drawn-out story: case in Hrodna (UPD)

Andrzej Poczobut, a Hrodna-based reporter of Polish newspaper Gazta Wyborcza, is to appear in court today: on September 21, 2013 the journalist received a summons. In 2011 Mr Poczobut was sentenced to three years of imprisonment for ‘libel the President’ with two-year suspension of judgement. The well-known activist of Polish minority in Belarus wrote critical articles for news resource Belpartisan, Gazeta Wyborcza, which irritated the Belarusian authorities.

“The event I am being invited to is called very optimistically: ‘On release from punishment’. Well, let’s be released, I am not against,”Andrzej Poczobut wrote on his Facebook.

The sittings are to start at 15:30 in Leninski district court in Hrodna.


(upd) A judge of Leninski district court in Hrodna on lifted all restrictions on the freedom of Andrzej Poczobut.

As he told news agency BelaPAN, he does not view the ruling as evidence that Belarusian courts were fair. “If our legal system is fair, I should have been exonerated because I haven’t committed any crime,” he said. “The authorities simply didn’t see any need to put me behind bars.”

Mr Poczobut said that he had not changed anything in his work because of the threat of imprisonment. “When I write, my top priority is to describe the Belarusian reality as accurately as possible and not to please the KGB or Lukashenka,” he said.


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