Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses PACE: ‘My country, my nation now need help’

The majority of Belarus is ready for dialogue, but the Belarusian authorities are not, former Belarusian presidential candidate Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya said on Tuesday, addressing PACE Political Affairs Committee via video link.

The politician called for the immediate release of all political prisoners and the start of a civilised dialogue in order to find ways for the country to move forward.

“The Coordination Council, despite the repression, is still committed to dialogue. Thus there’s a fundamental question for PACE as well as other international institutions – how can you encourage dialogue, what are the instruments to enable it, if the authorities are simply ignoring the call for dialogue and are trying to eliminate the other side?” Tsikhanouskaya wondered

According to her, instead of dialogue they are intimidating, incriminating and forcing members of the opposition Coordination Council to flee the country.

Detained in Belarus. Opposition activist Maryia Kalesnikava is not in Ukraine

“It is well known that the official results of the Presidential election on 9 August were falsified. No international organisation recognised these false results. The Belarusian people certainly will not accept this fraud. This means that Mr Lukashenka does not have any legitimacy as the President of our country. He does not represent Belarus anymore,” she stressed.

Tsikhanouskaya also expressed hope that Belarus, ‘the new Belarus’, would very soon be able to retake its rightful place among other countries that respect human rights and dignity.

In turn, Belarusian MP and former diplomat Andrey Savinykh, who also participated in the PACE hearing on the situation in Belarus, said that the authorities had information that the protests were coordinated from abroad through social networks.

“Among other things, through Telegram channel NEXTA, the activity of which, according to information from some media, is guided by the Central Group of Psychological Activities of the Polish Armed Forces,” he added.

His speech has been aired on state-run TV stations of Belarus.

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