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EU Parliament: Sacharov prize. Tsikhanouskaya, Belarusian opposition leader: “25 arrests per hour. Don’t turn a blind eye”

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (photo SIR/European Parliament)

Today, the Sacharov Prize for Freedom of Thought will be given to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Veranika Tsapkala, supporters of Belarusian opposition. This award “means a lot to the Belarusian people”, Tsikhanouskaya states, “because the minds of Belarusians are already free and know they are fighting for new democratic values”. It is important that “all the world has seen our courage and has understood why and for what we are fighting. This award proves that to us, and it proves that we are supported”. For four months, the population has been fighting for a new election and therefore for a new president, with whom to rebuild democracy in the country, Tsikhanouskaya went on explaining, adding that since August 32 thousand people have been arrested, over 1,000 charged with criminal offences, 156 taken as political prisoners: “25 people per hour are arrested in Belarus”. According to Tsikhanouskaya, it sounds like “a joke” that, faced with such figures, there are just 8 people in the list of sanctions. “You must take position powerfully, you must make yourselves heard better, be brave like the Belarusian people are being now”, the protester then added. “We are fighting for values that should also be important to you, and you cannot turn a blind eye”.

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