Szmydt delighted with Belarus. But the new UN report leaves no doubts

Szmydt delighted with Belarus.  But the new UN report leaves no doubts

Tomasz Szmydt, a former Polish judge who fled the country, claims that the Polish media are lying about the situation in Belarus.

Szmydt, suspected of espionage and wanted on an arrest warrant, is regularly used by the regime's propaganda. On Wednesday, he visited the town of Lenino in the Horecki region near the border with Russia. There he visited the “Museum of Polish-Soviet Brotherhood in Arms” and concluded that it was an important place for future generations.

Szmydt: Belarus is a wonderful country

In a conversation with the Belarusian government media, Szmydt said that in Belarus he wants to improve Polish-Belarusian relations by criticizing the Polish media. Lukashenko's propaganda presents him as a “Polish dissident”.

Szmydt praised Alexander Lukashenko, calling him one of the best politicians in the world. He claimed that the Polish media falsely present the situation in Belarus. — Belarus is a wonderful country. They have a very good attitude towards Poles here, said Szmydt, quoted by the Belarusian government agency BelTA.

Meanwhile, human rights defenders and international institutions paint a completely different picture of Belarus. Anaïs Marin, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, presented a report covering the period from April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024.

A UN report indicates that at least two political prisoners died due to lack of adequate medical attention. No autopsy was performed. Witness testimonies describe brutal treatment of political prisoners.

“The Special Rapporteur is concerned that imprisonment significantly worsens the health of these people, sometimes leading to hospitalization or death. In prisons and penal colonies, those convicted for political reasons wear yellow tags, have limited contact with their families and lawyers, and are often transferred to solitary confinement and cells with inhumane conditions. They are kept in single cells, with no contact with the outside world, they do not receive correspondence, parcels or medicines,” the report says.

For over three years, Polish journalist Andrzej Poczobut, who was sentenced to eight years in labor camps, has been struggling with these conditions. The relatives of many other imprisoned oppositionists have not heard from them for over a year.

The Belarusian human rights center “Spring” reported that there are currently 1,400 political prisoners in its prisons.

After years of torture, people return without teeth. Women cannot get pregnant

— We help people who flee the country after leaving a Belarusian prison, said Ales Zarembiuk, oppositionist and head of the Belarusian House foundation in Warsaw. He added that some, after three years in prison, had to escape within a week or two so as not to return to the labor camps. — Even when they are in Poland, they are afraid to speak out loud about their experiences because their relatives remain in Belarus, he added.

– We see the health condition of young people who come to Poland after staying in Belarusian prisons – emphasized Zarembiuk. He pointed out that they often have no teeth, have vision problems, and women cannot get pregnant after several years in prison due to torture.

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