Belarusian Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Charged with Terrorism

Belarusian authorities have now charged exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya with terrorism on allegations she planned explosions in the capital Minsk and across the country, on Monday.

Prosecutor General Andrei Shved said that Tsikhanouskaya was among other individuals also charged with planning explosions and arson attacks in Minsk and other cities.

Spokesperson for the opposition figure Anna Krasulina said the allegations were “absurd,” while calling for an immediate response from the international community amidst ongoing crackdown against demonstrators.

The 38-year-old who challenged President Alexander Lukashenko in the August elections, has been in exile in Lithuania amidst violent crackdown by police.

Protests have erupted in the country since then, calling for the resignation of President Lukashenko, denouncing his landslide win.

The European Union has since condemned human rights violations committed during protests where around 33,000 have been arrested including journalists.

Earlier this month, Lithuania rejected Belarus’ request to extradite Tsikhanouskaya.

Lithuanian foreign minister Gabrielius Landsbergis earlier said, “We can tell the Belarusian regime that we would rather watch hell freeze over than think about their demands.”

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