Belarus Dissident Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Faces ‘Trial in Absentia’, Calls it a ‘Farce’

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Belarus opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya referred to as her trial in absentia a “farce” and a “show” in an interview with AFP, including that she had not been given entry to courtroom paperwork forward of the beginning of proceedings on Tuesday.

“These trials should not trials in any respect. It’s a present, it’s farce, however it has nothing to do with justice in any respect,” said Tikhanovskaya, who lives in exile in Lithuania after jointly leading protests against Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in 2020.

“It’s personal revenge of Lukashenko and his cronies, but not only against me, but other people who are opposing him,” she instructed AFP on the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday the place she is the primary public determine from Belarus to attend since 1992.

Faced with “about 10 prices” including high treason and conspiracy to seize power, the 40-year-old said she had contacted her court-appointed lawyer about the trial, but he never replied.

“I don’t even know what my so-called lawyer will be doing tomorrow in this court, how he’s going to defend me,” she added.

“I don’t understand how lengthy this trial will take, what number of days, however I’m certain they’ll sentence me to many, a few years in jail.”

Lukashenko’s regime has prosecuted and jailed a growing number of opposition figures, journalists and activists since mass pro-democracy demonstrations in 2020 led by Tikhanovskaya and two other women.

Jailed Nobel Prize winner and human rights campaigner Ales Bialiatski, 60, went on trial in Minsk last Thursday, facing a sentence of seven to 12 years.

Tikhanovskaya said her trial could lead Belarus to issue an international arrest warrant via police organisation Interpol and prompt Lukashenko to strip her of her Belarusian nationality and passport.

The former teacher is pushing for the European Union to agree to recognise a new passport of “Free Belarus” for her and different exiles.

“I perceive that this is likely to be an unprecedented case. But we dwell in an unprecedented world and now we have to search for new approaches,” she said.

‘Bluffing’

Asked about joint air force drills on Monday between Russia and Belarus, which have increased fears about Lukashenko ordering his troops to attack Ukraine, Tikhanovskaya dismissed them as the latest “bluffing”.

Lukashenko allowed Russian President Vladimir Putin to ship troops to Belarus and use the nation to stage assaults on Ukraine throughout February’s invasion, he however has to date saved Belarusian forces out of the battle.

“I might name it bluffing or a present for the Belarusian individuals,” Tikhanovskaya said of the latest exercises.

“First of all to threaten them, to say ‘look the Russian army is here, so sit quietly, don’t oppose anything’.”

She stated the opposite objective was “attracting the eye of Ukrainian troopers from hotspots in jap half (of Ukraine) to the Belarusian borders.”

She added: “Ukrainians are prepared for possible land attacks. They mined a lot of kilometres of border and I think it’s impossible to again invade Ukraine (from Belarus).”

Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory in a contested 2020 presidential election, stated she was the primary Belarusian to attend the World Economic Forum since 1992 — two years earlier than Lukashenko got here to energy.

“It’s a enormous honour for us as a result of for (virtually) 30 years, Belarus was like a black gap on the map of Europe. Nobody was a lot with what was happening there. We have been thought-about as an appendix of Russia. We didn’t have our voice,” she said.

She plans to meet Ukrainian ministers, who are attending in force to push for greater Western arms and aid, but she is still waiting for a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.

“They have to be cautious at the moment. They don’t want to irritate Lukashenko,” she stated

Tikhanovskaya ran for president in 2020 when her husband, widespread blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, was prevented from standing.

He was sentenced to 18 years in jail in December 2021 for organising riots and inciting social unrest amongst different prices.

Tikhanovskaya has not been capable of converse or write to her husband, however jail authorities permit him to correspond with their kids — the one contact the household have with him, she stated.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)

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