Andżelika Borys becomes Honorary Citizen of Lower Silesia

The Head of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Andżelika Borys, became an Honorary Citizen of the Lower Silesia province in south-western Poland. The title was given on Saturday during the ceremonial session of the provincial assembly at the Wrocław Opera house.

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The provincial councillors adopted a resolution on the Honorary Citizen of Lower Silesia (CIVI HONORARIO) title for Andżelika Borys in July. The ceremonial awarding of the title took place on Saturday, on the day of Saint Jadwiga Śląska, the patron of the region. Since 2010, Lower Silesian province Day has been celebrated on this day, combined with a ceremonial session of the provincial council.

The justification of the councillors decisions emphasised that Andżelika Borys became a symbol of unwavering persistence in defence of Polish values, a symbol of a wise and peaceful attitude.

“Despite numerous and extremely severe harassment, repression and persecution, she fights steadfastly for the observance of the rights of the Polish minority in Belarus. After re-election as head of the Union of Poles in Belarus on March 23, 2021, Andżelika Borys was arrested. She was charged with absurd charges of ‘inciting hatred on ethnic backgrounds and the rehabilitation of Nazism’, for which she is threatened with 5 to 12 years imprisonment. She showed unusual courage and firmness when she refused to leave the territory of Belarus in exchange for being released,” the justification reads.

On behalf of Andżelika Borys, the statuette was collected by: the director of Belsat TV Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy and the deputy head of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Marek Zaniewski.

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“I would like to wholeheartedly thank the Lower Silesian provincial assembly and representatives of Lower Silesia for this award. It is very important because we know too well that nothing lasts forever, difficult times can be survived, but can be survived thanks to the support of other people,” Bielsat TV director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy stressed.

Moreover, the “Silesia” Cultural Award was awarded to the Union of Poles in Belarus led by Ms Borys. The award was granted for the overall activity of the union for the benefit of Poles living in Belarus.

Andżelika Borys was arrested in March along with Andrzej Poczobut and Polish minority activists Irena Biernacka, Maria Tiszkowska and Anna Paniszewa. The five activists were met with criminal proceedings in line with Belarus’ Penal Code Article 130 paragraph 3 speaking of “deliberate actions aimed at inciting race-, nation-, religion- or other socially-based hostility”.