Accessibility links

Polish Solidarity Leader Deported From Belarus

Minsk, May 15 (RFE/RL) -- The leader of Poland's Solidarity Union is being deported to Poland from Belarus on charges of "organizing an unsanctioned political meeting."

Solidarity chairman Marian Krzaklewski told an RFE/RL correspondent in a telephone interview last night from his Minsk hotel that police were in his hotel room waiting to escort him, two other Solidarity officials, and their driver to the Polish-Belarussian border.

Krzaklewski was detained and told he must leave Belarus after he addressed opposition trade union members from the MZAL factory in Minsk yesterday. Krzaklewski said the meeting was about union business, not a political meeting, and was held outside the factory grounds.

Poland has protested to Belarus over the detention and planned deportation of the solidarity officials. Polish Foreign Ministry officer Henryk Litwin said the Belarus charge d'affaires was summoned to the ministry in Warsaw last night and handed a formal protest note.

Polish television reports that Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski also plans to issue a protest to Belarussian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.