The health of the Polish minority leader in the Belarusian prison is deteriorating

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – An official in Poland said on Wednesday that the health of a Polish minority leader who is being held in a Belarusian prison has deteriorated and the authorities are not allowing her to travel to Poland.

Andzelika Borys, 47, is the chairwoman of a Polish minority organization in Belarus that fosters Polish culture and tradition. She is critical of the authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko and is not recognized by the authorities there.

Borys and four other members of the Union of Poles in Belarus were arrested in March during crackdown on ethnic Poles as tensions increased with Poland that supports sanctions against Lukashenko’s regime.

Official Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, the head of Polish state-funded Belsat television, which broadcasts independent news to Belarus, said Wednesday that Bory’s health had deteriorated.

“Worrying news … especially regarding Borys’ health, which has visibly deteriorated in prison,” said Romaszewska-Guzy on Twitter.

She also tweeted that Borys’ symptoms had worsened from her previous health and that she had developed serious dental problems.

Romaszewska-Guzy added that, according to her information, Borys had agreed to travel to Poland, but the authorities “delayed”.

Three other minority activists arrested earlier this year were released and brought to Poland in May as a result of Poland’s diplomatic efforts. They described the conditions of detention as harsh.

The journalist and activist of the Polish minority Andrzej Poczobut also remains imprisoned.

Human rights groups regard the inmates as political prisoners. The top diplomat of the European Union, Josep Borrell, and Poland had demanded their release.

Poland, which was part of Moscow’s communist system decades ago, is today a member of the EU and a supporter of the democratic opposition to Lukashenko in neighboring Belarus. Together with Lithuania, it has become a haven for Belarusian activists and students in exile.

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