Father Henryk Akałatowicz from the parish in Volozhyn near Minsk, Belarus, was detained as part of a high treason case – claims the independent Catholic channel on Telegram, Christian Vision, based on sources. The priest has serious health problems.
Detention of a priest
Fr. Henryk Akałatowicz is the parish priest. Saint Joseph in Woźhin. Christian Vision reports on the case, citing anonymous sources. According to them, the priest was detained as part of a case of “high treason” and may be another cleric affected by the political repression of the Lukashenko regime.
The Belarusian Criminal Code provides for a prison sentence of seven to fifteen years for this article.
In 2013, another Catholic priest, Vladislav Lazar, was charged under the same article and spent six months in KGB pretrial detention.
The media point out that the priest has serious health problems, including: he recently had a heart attack. He also had stomach surgery due to cancer.
The priest has been serving as a priest since the times of the USSR, when he was secretly ordained. As Nasha Niva writes, he was fined many times during Soviet times, including: in 1984 – for visiting Katyn.
The Belarusian authorities suppress all public criticism of the Lukashenko regime and its support for Russia’s war against Ukraine. Courts have repeatedly convicted clergy of various denominations. Dictator Aleksandr Lukashenko has been cracking down on the democratic movement since nationwide protests against the 2020 presidential election, deemed rigged in his favor. Many activists were sentenced to long prison terms. The Wiasna Human Rights Center currently reports 1513 political prisoners in Belarus.