Eight years in prison for Belarusian journalist
Polish-Belarusian journalist and activist Andrzej Poczobut was sentenced to eight years of hard labour in a penal colony on Wednesday by a court in Minsk. He has been in pre-trial detention since March 2021. The Gazeta Wyborcza correspondent was convicted on charges of endangering national security through his anti-government reporting. Poland’s press is shaken.
Poczobut embodies European values
Gazeta Wyborcza’s editor-in-chief Adam Michnik calls for a joint response from Europe :
“Andrzej is a heroic, courageous man. One might say that he is a free citizen of a free Belarus, who embodies the pride and nobility of the Poles of the past. In a way he represents the most important values of today’s Europe. That is why today the whole of Europe should get behind Andrzej Poczobut and do everything possible to free him from the clutches of those cruel oppressors, the worthy heirs of Stalin and Hitler.”
Independent journalism behind bars
Polityka admires the imprisoned journalist’s attitude:
“Poczobut has become a symbol of the struggle for freedom of expression in Belarus today. The eight years in a penal colony to which he has been sentenced are a punishment for all independent Belarusian journalism. Andrzej never wanted to be seen as a martyr. He has always stressed that he is not alone behind bars; after all, his fellow journalists are behind bars too.”