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USA: Belarus’ attempt to send transgressive Olympic athlete home

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has called Belarus’ attempt to send Belarusian Kristina Simanovskaya home from the Tokyo Olympics “transnational repression.” In addition, the most famous Belarusian exiled, opposition leader Svyatlana Dikanovskaya also made himself heard. He hopes that Western nations will tighten sanctions against Belarus in order to put pressure on President Alexander Lukashenko.

Why is this important?

About 35,000 people have been arrested in Belarus since the elections last August. Many of them took to the streets to protest the injustice of the ballot box. Svyatlana’s husband Sergei Dikanovskaya is also in prison; He himself ran for president. President Lukashenko. An ancient Soviet superpower that wanted to count itself in Putin’s sphere of influence chose the path of dictatorship and repressive dictatorship.

“The regime of President Alexander Lukashenko attempted another transnational repression: Olympic sprinter Christina Simanuskaza was forced to leave only because he expressed his free opinion,” Blingen wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“Such actions are a violation of the Olympic spirit, a violation of fundamental rights and cannot be tolerated.”

Simanowskaya, who took refuge at the Polish embassy after the group refused orders to fly home, will travel to Poland on Wednesday. Warsaw She was later issued a humanitarian visa.

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Tichanovskaya

As the Belarusian dictatorship draws negative attention around the world, the country’s most famous opposition leader, the exiled Sviatlana Dikanovskaya, is visiting the United Kingdom.

Tikanovskaya said Financial times What happened to the Olympic runner was part of a broader crackdown on athletes in Belarus.

“Since August, dozens of athletes have been imprisoned, deported and forced to leave the country,” he said. Any criticism is seen as an attack on the government. “No athlete can feel safe – not in Belarus or abroad.”

Olympic officials have banned Lukashenko from attending the Tokyo Games and suspended payments to the country’s Olympic Committee following accusations by Belarusian athletes that his regime was politically discriminated against and imprisoned.

Obstacles

Dikanovskaya’s visit to London followed a 15-day US tour where he met with President Joe Biden. “We are going to the UK to draw attention to closing the loopholes in European barriers,” he said. He said the increased pressure would only lead to a more repressive path through the regime.

Tikhanovskaya now seeks support from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to extend or tighten Western sanctions on Belarus.

  • Western powers have so far only taken gradual action against Belarus.
  • Most recently, in June, in the UK, the EU, US and Canada imposed property freezes and travel bans on some Belarusians associated with the regime as punishment for the emergency landing of a Ryanair plane in May.
  • Belarusian authorities have diverted a plane to Minsk to arrest a dissident and his girlfriend, citing security concerns.
  • UK sanctions also target Belarusian oil exporters, while the EU imposes sectoral restrictions on exports of insurance, tobacco, petroleum products and potassium chloride, which account for a significant share of Belarus’ revenues.
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(My. S)