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Poland Condemns 'Unfair' Jailing of Polish-Belarusian Journalist

FILE - Journalist Andrzej Poczobut stands in a defendants' cage during a court session in Grodno, Belarus, Jan. 16, 2023.

Poland on Wednesday condemned as unfair the eight-year jail sentence handed to a Polish-Belarusian journalist who had reported critically on the Belarusian regime.

"An inhumane verdict of the Belarusian regime. It is yet another act of persecuting Polish people in Belarus," Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a tweet.

Andrzej Poczobut, 49 was sentenced in the western city of Grodno, on the Polish border, where he was based.

He was found guilty of taking part in "actions harming national security" and "inciting hatred."

"We will do everything to help the Polish journalist," Morawiecki added.

"We condemn the unfair verdict delivered by a court of an authoritarian country," a Polish foreign ministry spokesman tweeted, adding Poland will continue to "stand behind" Poczobut.

Poczobut is a correspondent for Poland's top daily Gazeta Wyborcza and an active member of Belarus's Polish diaspora.

"A bandit ruling in Belarus sentenced my friend Andrzej Poczobut for eight years in prison. He wants to destroy all free people, but he will never break Andrzej," Gazeta Wybrocza deputy editor-in-chief Roman Imielski said.