Belarus demands that Poland extradites a dissident

Belarusian opposition is concerned with the possibility of Poland extraditing Andrei Zykaviets – a businessman with ties to Belarusian dissidents. Belarusian authorities have issued through Interpol an arrest warrant on him. On Wednesday, a court in Bialystok, Poland will decide if Zykaviets should be arrested and expelled to Belarus.

Yesterday, a former presidential candidate Vital Rymashevsky held a press conference, during which he addressed Polish government asking for a political asylum for Zykaviets in Poland in order to prevent him from being extradited to Belarus.

Zykaviets, a Belarusian businessman, was forced into exile in 1999. He is accused of not paying credit of $700.000, charges he rejects claiming that the international arrest warrant was issued because of his support for the Belarusian opposition.

Rymashevsky also agrees that the warrant is a political revenge. Zykaviets company prepared materials for presidential campaign for the opposition parties and non-governmental groups. – Opposition today is in a difficult financial situation. Authorities have been interrogating people who supported the opposition. If the extradition of Zykaviets takes place, it will be a bad symptom for people supporting democratic organizations“ – said the politician. – „Handing over to Belarusian authorities a man, who had clear connections with politics and supported opposition would be in contradiction with help declared by minister Sikorski.“

Rymashevsky also added that there are other people threatened with extradition, who do not have official status of political refugees. He mentioned in that context a leader of solidarity movement „Together“, Viecheslav Sivchyk and a leader of banned by the Belarusian authorities group called „Rightful Alliance“ Jury Karetnikavey, who both left to Kiev after the December 2010 presidential elections.


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