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Solidarność: Ales Bialiatski has become a prisoner of conscience of the Polish government

19.08.2011    source:
The founders of Poland’s Solidarity movement have bitterly criticized the Polish officials who passed information helping the Belarusians to prosecute human rights defender Ales Bialiatski and call on the government to take all measures to obtain Bialiacki’s release

Ales Bialiatski has become a prisoner of conscience of the Polish government, the founders of Poland’s Solidarność write.  The appeal is signed by Zbigniew Bujak, Władysław Frasyniuk, Tadeusz Jedynak, Zbigniew Janas, Bogdan Lis i Lech Wałęsa

“Jerzy Giedroyc, together with Ludwik Mieroszewski, developed and left us, citizens of Poland, a great mission. The freedom of nations beyond our eastern border is the foundation and condition for the security of this part of Europe. Dictators and authoritarian regimes are a threat to that security. Thirty years ago the Solidarity Congress adopted its “Letter to the Peoples of Central and Eastern Europe”. We expressed in that way solidarity with our neighbours, with their struggle for freedom.

Today in our country dozens of foundations and societies, thousands of people are helping Belarusian democrats in their struggle for freedom. We are proud of that stand.

This achievement of Polish political thought is the ABC for any citizen of our country. It should be the task and duty of every State official at all levels, all departments to act in accordance with the historical legacy of our country and the historic message of Solidarity. Those unable to do this should not dare hold positions in our country’s administration, in its services.

Independence of the Prosecutor’s Office cannot mean independence from intelligence. In a country of uprisings and conspiracy, of democratic opposition and Solidarity, we cannot allow the ignorance of a State body to put people fighting for freedom in prison.

For us, the founding fathers of Solidarity, the existence and work of Ales Bialiacki has been a source of joy and pride. On the other hand, what the Polish Prosecutor’s Office has done humiliates us all. We feel degraded since in our view this is no normal “mishap” or one-off “slip up”.

The fate of arrested Belarusian Marina Tur, the case of Professor Marynovich, situation of the Ukrainian translator of Polish poetry removed to Germany, these are only examples, which indicate that we are dealing more with a pattern, than with chance.

We therefore trust that the constitutional authorities in Poland together with the departments and services subordinate to them will revise their current attitude to citizens of neighbouring countries, especially Belarus and Ukraine.

Poland can and must stand out in the world with its knowledge and experience in bringing help to those fighting for freedom. If we think through our mistakes during the period of transformation, we will be able to provide that knowledge and experience to help those who wish, after times of dictatorship, to establish democracy and a free market. This however requires returning and rethinking the atmosphere of those days in August 1980 and the hopes formed then, the culture of solidarity which meant that we lived together in spite of political and ideological differences.

Our aspirations then, the political support and help we received should today be an example and model for the Polish governing elite, administration and authorities.

The decision of the Polish Prosecutor’s Office which undertook to cooperate with Lukashenko’s dictatorship, destroys the image of Poland from August 1980.

Any decision of a civil servant is always made in the name of the State. The Polish State has put Ales Bialiacki to prison. We expect decisive action from the Prime Minister aimed at freeing the Belarusian opposition figure.

Ales Bialiacki has become a prisoner of conscience of the Polish government.

Zbigniew Bujak

Władysław Frasyniuk

Tadeusz Jedynak

Zbigniew Janas

Bogdan Lis

Lech Wałęsa

Very slightly abridged

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