Belarus: Andrzej Poczobut gets a suspended sentence


The charges against journalist Andrzej Poczobut were grotesque, but in today’s Belarus few felt optimistic that he would not receive up to 4 years imprisonment.  Andrzej Poczobut, correspondent for the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and activist of the Union of Poles in Belarus was charged with insulting and defaming President Lukashenko.  The prosecutor had demanded this amount, but the court made it a three year suspended sentence.

There was euphoria and immense relief outside the courtroom when Poczobut was released.  In Wyborcza, Roman Imielski who has known Andrzej Poczobut for many years says that the Lukashenko regime is hoping in this way to muffle the journalist.  They hope that the journalist, who is married with an 11-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son will be frightened of a long sentence and will avoid hard-hitting texts, or politics altoghter.“The dictator has miscalculated since Poczobut won’t let himself be cowered.”

As reported, In a letter to his readers in May Poczobut wrote: “I don’t regret anything. I would write every letter, comma and full stop in the same places and would even add several exclamation marks”. 

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