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Belarus Diplomat Called In Over Reporter Arrest

Andrzej Poczobut, a correspondent with the Polish daily "Gazeta Wyborcza," leaves a courthouse in Hrodno in 2011.
Poland has summoned the Belarus ambassador following the arrest of a reporter working for a Polish daily.

Andrzej Poczobut was detained June 21 at his home in Hrodno on the border with Poland and accused of defaming hard-line President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Warsaw is demanding the immediate release of the Polish-Belarusian Poczobut who works for the Polish daily "Gazeta Wyborcza."

Warsaw said such incidents were to blame for Belarus's self-isolation and poor relations with the European Union.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk told journalists his counterparts from the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia voiced support for Warsaw's position on the arrest.

The incident comes a year after Poczobut was handed a suspended jail sentence for "defaming" Lukashenka.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa