Poland has become a safe haven for Belarusians persecuted by the regime and the main promoter of support for the Belarusian society in the EU," Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Facebook on the anniversary of contested presidential elections that returned strongman Alexandr Lukashenko for a sixth term of office.
The prime minister pointed out that many Belarusian oppositionists, including Lukashenko's competitor in last year's election, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, have had to flee Belarus, since wide-scale protests erupted following the vote.
"With each new month, the activities of NGOs are ever more stifled," Morawiecki wrote. "The arrests of officials of the Union of Poles in Belarus, searches of the apartments and of Polish schools - were the first signal of the start of the systematic destruction of civil society structures, independent media and even independent expert communities.
"Among others, information portals enjoying social acceptance have been blocked, the activities of many editorial offices, including Bielsat television in Polish, considered extremist, and the dissemination of materials published there, even through posts on social networks, will now be considered a crime," Morawiecki wrote.
He also accused Lukashenko of "acts of state terrorism" in reference to the kidnapping of Raman Pratasiewicz and the use of illegal migration as a weapon in relations with Lithuania and Poland. "Through his actions, Belarus has gone into international isolation," Morawiecki wrote.
The prime minister went on to write that Belarusians still had strength and a will to fight for freedom and democracy. "We, Poles, have not remained indifferent," he wrote. "Throughout this year, we have many times initiated activities towards democratic changes in Belarus... - together with the countries of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary - PAP), we have proposed an economic Plan for a democratic Belarus, which has gained the acceptance of the European Council.
"Poland will continue to support in solidarity the aspirations of Belarusians to rebuild a free society, a civil society," Morawiecki concluded. (PAP)