What is solidarity? Interview with Polish MP Robert Tyszkiewicz

Information campaigns, actions, support – measures taken by civil society to express support for political prisoners in Belarus. And what kind of other resources are needed? What did Polish politicians in Soviet times, when in this currently democratic country, political prisoners sat in jails? For this and other questions raised by Palitviazni.info answers Robert Tyszkiewicz, Vice-President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Polish Sejm, head of the parliamentary group on Belarus.

Robert Tyszkiewicz: For political prisoners was important the expression of solidarity, even in, as it would seem, the least important issues. First of all, the solidarity was expressed in the interest  taken in the fate of the family of political prisoner. Legal and material aid! Therefore, it is important that a prisoner isolated from the world feels that his family is not left to its fate, that his loved ones are all right. And that’s the main thing. Another important aspect is political solidarity and support. I am referring to various publications, actions, demands of release. In spite of the isolation, information on such activities reach prisoners and serve as a powerful support to his morale and attitude. And the last but not least is international support. The pressure on the authorities to release  political prisoners. It’s part of our Polish experience, but now it’s an international issue, concerning any country, any prisoner, including Belarus.

– How often the Belarusian question is raised in the Polish parliament, is the situation of political prisoners in Belarus discussed and in what way the Polish Sejm may put pressure on the authorities of Belarus for the release of prisoners of conscience?

Robert Tyszkiewicz: In fact, I make effort to talk in Sejm about the Belarusian question as often as possible. All legislative instruments, including statements are issued at the times of incidents, that the Parliament cannot ignore. This happens on a daily basis. We work with various parties in order to create a true fraction, a majority in order to simplify decision-making concerning the aid to the Belarusian civil society, mainly to victims of political persecution. Generally, the efforts of the Parliamentary Committees are aimed at keeping the subject of political prisoners in the foreground of interest. In addition, we often talk about the human rights situation with our foreign partners. Recently we conducted such talks with the representatives of the French parliament. We have involved the French in the issue of political prisoners in Belarus. Such efforts are necessary for Europe to talk  about the inadmissibility of persecution with one voice.

– In the Polish Sejm, and in the Foreign Affairs Committee are representatives of different political parties representing different views. How this diversity is imprinted in decisions taken on issues of Belarus?

Robert Tyszkiewicz: Our committee is absolutely consistent on the Belarusian issue. Of course sometimes there appear differences in some respects. However, it has no negative influence on the decision making process. All Members of Parliament agree that the existence of political prisoners is unacceptable fact. The Sejm has a common opinion that prisoners of conscience in Belarus must be released and fully rehabilitated.



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Other political prisoners