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Brunei
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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    Three Poles from Belarus freed from prison, now in Poland

    WARSAW, POLAND (AP) — Three members of the ethnic Polish minority in Belarus who had been imprisoned by the country’s authoritarian regime are now free and in Poland.

    The three women arrived in Poland on May 25 but details of them being freed and brought out of neighbouring Belarus were only made public on Wednesday.

    Irena Biernacka, Maria Tiszkowska and Anna Paniszewa spoke to reporters, and while they said there were details about their liberation that they were not allowed to discuss, they expressed their thanks to Poland and described conditions in Belarusian prisons as harsh.

    “I would like to express my thanks to the Polish state that saved me from prison,” Paniszewa said, describing how she was beaten, subjected to psychological torture and denied medical treatment for a spine injury and a broken wrist during the two months of her detention.

    She said they were “cruel days for innocent people who were brought to prison on trumped-up charges”.

    People shout as they take part in a demonstration against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Warsaw, Poland. PHOTO: AP

    The three were arrested as part of a crackdown on ethnic Poles in Belarus opposed to Lukashenko.

    The Foreign Ministry said that their liberation was the “result of efforts by Polish diplomatic and consular services”.

    Human rights groups considered them political prisoners, and the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, had appealed for their release.

    Two other Polish minority members, Andzelika Borys and Andrzej Poczobut, remain imprisoned in Belarus.

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