Svetlana Alexievich, a prominent Belarusian writer and member of the board of the opposition Coordination Council (CC), has left for Germany.
The departure is not linked to the criminal proceedings brought against the Council, her assistant Tatsyana Tsyuryna told TUT.by.
“She went there on her literary and private business. This is her normal daily routine, but she could not leave for a long time due to her [ill] health. When will she return? It depends on the way the current events will be developing and on her health state,” she said.
The famous writer is the only one of the seven members of the CC board who has not been directly affected by the Belarusian authorities’ harsh measures against the initiative. The other representatives were jailed (Liliya Ulasava, Maryia Kalesnikava, Maksim Znak) or forced out of the country (Pavel Latushka, Volha Kavalkova). Another member, strike movement activist Syarhei Dyleuski, was released on September, 18 after spending 25 days in prison. However, on September 9, unknown people were trying to get into the apartment of Svetlana Alexievich. On the following days, media workers and European diplomats repeatedly paid visits to her in order to ensure that the world-known literary figure was safe and sound.
As reported earlier, Lukashenka’s strongest rival Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya initiated the creation of the Coordination Council as part of taking urgent measures to restore law and order in Belarus as well as to ensure the transfer of power in the country. Belarus’ Prosecutor General opened a criminal case over establishing the Council, naming it a ‘threat to national security’. The authorities believe the body aims at seizing power in Belarus.
In his recent interview to Russia’s state-owned media outlets, Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he would not hold negotiations with the CC, voicing the false information that they wanted to ‘break off relations with brotherly Russia’. Council members have repeatedly denied the allegation.
In early September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed that Moscow’ sees no sense in establishing contacts with representatives of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition until the Council obtains a legal status and a clear program’. Russia recognised Lukashenka’s victory in the 2020 presidential election, he added.