(Lisbon) The leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, said Saturday in Lisbon to feel safe in the European Union, after Belarus announced the extradition request the day before.
“I feel physically safe in the European Union,” said Svetlana Tekanovskaya, in response to the extradition request to Lithuania, where she was forced to seek asylum, for her role in the protest movement following the 2020 elections.
The Lithuanian authorities vehemently refused this request.
“Everyone understands that this request is motivated by political reasons,” Al-Sayed added.I am Tikhanovskaya after a meeting in the center of Lisbon with members of the Belarusian community during a demonstration that gathered around 100 people in support of political prisoners in Belarus.
Since last year, the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has suppressed a historic protest movement born of his controversial re-election in August.
Mr. Lukashenko’s rival in the presidential elections, M.I am Tikanovskaya, a prominent figure in the Belarusian opposition, was forced to take refuge in Lithuania immediately after the elections.
It has been prosecuted since the fall of 2020 on charges of “calls for actions that undermine national security,” a crime that carries a prison sentence of three to five years.
On the occasion of her trip to Portugal, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya met on Friday with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, as part of a European tour.
At the end of that meeting, Mr. Costa expressed his support for the “right to peaceful demonstration” and the organization of “free and fair elections”.
In a message posted on his Twitter account, he noted: “Democracy and the rule of law are at the core of European values.”