(Lisbon) Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said on Saturday she wanted to be safe in the European Union in Lisbon, after the handover request was made public the day before.
“I am physically safe in the European Union,” Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said in response to a request for extradition to Lithuania, which had to seek asylum for her role in the post-election protest movement in 2020.
Lithuanian officials vehemently denied the request.
“Everyone understands that this request was motivated by political motives,” Mr said.To me Tikhanovskaya after a meeting with members of the Belarusian community in central Lisbon in a demonstration that brought together about 100 people in support of political prisoners in Belarus.
The regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has cracked down on a historic protest movement that erupted in the re-election in August last year.
Mr. Lukashenko’s opponent in the presidential election, M.To me Tikhanovskaya, a prominent figure in the Belarusian opposition, had to seek asylum in Lithuania shortly after the poll.
She has been on trial since the fall of 2020 for “calling for measures that undermine national security,” which carries a three- to five-year prison sentence.
During her visit to Portugal, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya met with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, as part of her European tour on Friday.
At the end of the meeting, Costa expressed his support for the “right to peaceful demonstration” and for “free and fair elections”.
“Democracy and the rule of law are at the heart of European values,” he recalled in a message posted on his Twitter account.