A few hours ago, a video featuring presidential hopeful Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya was posted on the Telegram channel that is allegedly cooperating with Belarusian government agencies.
In the video, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya reads out her appeal to the Belarusian people from a paper card, she looks as if she were close to tears.
“Dear citizens of the Republic of Belarus. I, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya, thank you for your voting in the presidential election. The people of Belarus have made their choice. With gratitude and warmth, I appeal to all the citizens who have been supporting me all the while. Belarusians, I urge you to be prudent and respect the law. I do not want bloodshed and violence. I ask you not to confront the police, not to take to the streets so that your lives would not be jeopardised. Take care of yourselves and your nearest and dearest,” she said.
As reported earlier, Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya left Belarus overnight into Tuesday after being held for hours in the Central Election Commission (CEC), now she is in Lithuania. In her previous video message, she says she had a ‘hard choice’ and makes mention of her kids and the value of human life, which might be indicative of the Belarusian officials’ allegedly exerting pressure on her and threatening her family.
(UPD) At Tuesday’s press conference of the united headquarters, her associates Maryia Kalesnikava and Volha Kavalkova have stated that Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya had no intention to leave Belarus before her Monday’s visit to the CEC. Notably, she was about to file a complaint there.
According to them, it is two top security officers who were talking to Tsikhanouskaya in CEC Chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna‘s office; the team’s lawyer Maksim Znak was not allowed to be present; Ms Yarmoshyna was also asked to leave.
“She was out of touch with her lawyer. There we saw people carrying something like video equipment – and now you know the result. Maksim saw Svyatlana leaving the office; she said she would go out of the building through another entrance. By which law was the presidential candidate left without lawyer’s assistance for several hours in the company of representatives of law enforcement agencies? Why do people end up being held by siloviki when they come to the office of the CEC head?” Maryia Kalesnikava wonders.
Svyatlana’s husband, popular blogger and might-have-been presidential candidate Syarhei Tsikhanouski, has been in prison since late May; several criminal charges have been brought against him. A number of Tsikhanouskaya’s election agents and supporters were jailed under a far-fetched pretext as well. After receiving threats over the phone during the election campaign, the presidential wannabe decided to get her two kids taken out of Belarus, they were staying in ‘some EU country’. Today, according to Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, she has reunited with her children in Lithuania.