Tsikhanouskaya to organize intl Belarusian solidarity action

  • 2021-05-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is organizing an international action on Saturday to express solidarity with the country's people.

"We announce the 29th of May - the date of Siarhei Tsikhanouski's detention - as a day of solidarity," she told a press conference in Vilnius on Thursday.

In her words, local politicians and members of the local diaspora will take part in these events.

"On that day, a global picket of solidarity with Belarus will be held around the world. But most importantly, on this day Belarusians within the country are to support each other in every possible way. Street actions, symbols, letters to political prisoners," the politician said.

Asked about her husband, Tsikhanouskaya said her husband keeps telling her that he would stay in prison as long as Belarusians will allow for that to happen.

Moreover, she said, lawyers are still not allowed to see detained opposition journalists Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofica Sapega. Both where detained last Sunday when Belarusian authorities diverted and forced an Athens-Vilnius flight to land in Minsk.

"It means that we still do not know under what conditions the hostages are held and how they are treated," she said.

In her words, Vitold Ashurak, a protester who died in prison, was buried on Wednesday. Moreover, an orphan teenager also killed himself on that day after being accused of having organized protests.

Tsikhanouskaya says Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko is responsible for all of those tragedies. She urged the international community to declare the Minsk regime "terrorist".

According to the Belarusian opposition leader, some members of her team and other initiatives have recently received threats, adding that they are taking all possible measures to protect those people.

"I have never felt safe since May last year," she said.

Tsikhanouskaya says she has recently met with representatives of Belarusian democratic forces and discussed their further strategy which includes putting further pressure on the incumbent government, bolstering civic society and drafting Belarus' Constitution.

Moreover, the opposition leader says she support the European Council's decisions to expand sanctions and restrict air travel with Belarus.

"But we demand the land borders of Belarus to be opened for free movement of Belarusian citizens. Since the regime cannot be allowed to turn the country into a prison for nine million people," she said.