Poland expressed its willingness to provide assistance and support to all those who had been persecuted in Belarus because of their beliefs and views. Such a statement was made on Saturday, September 5, by the head of the office of the Polish prime minister, Michal Dvorchik, at a conference with Belarusian opposition activist Olga Kovalkova, who came to the country.
вЂњAs long as the Belarusians are not able to speak freely about their beliefs as long as the repression continues, according to the decision of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, anyone who faces political repression in Belarus can count on the custody of the Polish government,вЂќ Dvorchik said.
He also noted that already more than 100 people from Belarus have applied to Poland to stay in the country.
In turn, a confidant of the Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and a member of the Coordination Council of the Opposition of the Republic of Kovalkova said that she was forced to leave Belarus, threatening otherwise with prolonged arrest. According to the opposition activist, she was taken out of the detention facility and brought to a checkpoint, after which she managed to take a bus on the Polish side.
вЂњThey [law enforcement officials] followed me to the detention facility, put me in their car, put on a hood and mask, put me in the back seat of the car, and took me out of the prison. I did not know where we were going. Later it turned out that I was brought to the checkpoint at Bruzgi,вЂќ she said.
Earlier that day she had already stated that she had left Belarus for Poland allegedly because she had been threatened with a lengthy arrest. Her crossing of the Bruzgi checkpoint was also confirmed by the press secretary of the Belarusian State Border Committee, Anton Bychkovsky. According to him, Kowalkowa did indeed leave the republic, having left at night by bus to Warsaw. He noted that the opposition activist left Belarus without any hindrance.
Earlier that day, the press service of the Coordinating Council of the Belarusian opposition reported that Kovalkova left the republic and is already in Poland.
That, on September 3 it was reported that Kovalkova and another member of the coordination council of the opposition Sergey Dylevsky were arrested for another 15 days for the organization of unauthorized action, and the day before it became known that the opposition activist Pavel Latushko had also left for Poland.
On August 9, presidential elections were held in Belarus. According to the CEC, the incumbent head of state Alexander Lukashenko won 80.08% of the vote, while Tikhanovskaya was supported by 10.09% of voters.
Tikhanovskaya's headquarters did not recognize the voting results, and the former presidential candidate hastily left the republic and initiated the creation of a coordination council for a peaceful transfer of power in Belarus. After that, protests began in Minsk and several other cities of the republic, and some enterprises, including the country's largest manufacturing plants, went on strike.
Lukashenko, in turn, called the creation of an opposition coordination council an attempt to seize power. He warned that the government would take вЂњadequate measuresвЂќ to вЂњcool down hot heads. A criminal case was opened in Belarus over the establishment of that body.