Poland not to extradite Belarus activist persecuted over supporting opposition

In late October, the District Court in Warsaw decided to ban extradition of Belarusian-born political refugee Aliaksei Dryk. In 2012-13, businessman Dryk supported Belarusian opposition. The State Security Committee (KGB) attempted to recruit him; when the pressure got stepped up, the man fled his native country.

Finally, the consideration of the case has come to an end. A judge of the District Court in Warsaw has ruled my extradition out of order. The ruling has been also backed by the prosecutor. Earlier, the Political Refugees Council decided to grant me a refugee status,” Dryk said after delivering the sentence.

According to him, since 2006 he had repeatedly participated in rallies organized by the opposition in Minsk and had been involved in printing leaflets. In 2011, Aliaksei Dryk set up his own printing house, where he also printed opposition materials. After he came to the attention of the authorities, the man left Belarus for Poland in 2014.

Soon Minsk charged him with dodging taxes and forging tax declarations. The Prosecutor General‘s Office of Belarus sent a request for the extradition of Aliaksei Dryk. The Polish court had to decide whether Minsk’s claims were legitimate. It took them 4 years to consider the case.

I would like to thank the solidarity movement Together, movement For Freedom, Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland and everyone who attended the hearings,” Aliaksei said.

After delivering the verdict, all court restraints imposed on Aliaksei Dryk for the trial period has been removed. However, his name is still on the Interpol list.