Credit: Office of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Deed)

Belarusian Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya To Visit Prague Next Week

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya will arrive in Prague on 23 March to attend a conference of the Belarusian community, the opening of the Belarusian Democratic Forces office, and a documentary screening at the One World human rights film festival, her spokeswoman Anna Krasulinova told CTK.

On her four-day visit, Tsikhanouskaya will also meet Czech political leaders, said Krasulinova.

On Saturday, 23 March, Tsikhanouskaya will attend a conference of the Belarusian diaspora in the Czech Republic. A day later, she will unveil a memorial plaque to humanist and doctor Frantisek Skorina on Prague’s Old Town Square. Skorina came from present-day Belarus, lived at the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries and was a publisher of the Bible in the Church Slavonic language. In 1517 his translation of the Bible was printed in Prague as the first Belarusian book.

Tsikhanouskaya is scheduled to open the Belarusian Democratic Forces office in Prague on 25 March. She will also attend the screening of the documentary ‘By Chance the President’ at the One World festival. The film is a portrait of Tsikhanouskaya. On Tuesday, 26 March, she is scheduled to meet Czech political leaders.

Tsikhanouskaya visited Prague in November 2022, meeting Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS) and attending a conference on Russia’s hybrid war against the democratic world.

Tsikhanouskaya ran for president in 2020 in place of her husband, blogger Syarhei Tsikhanouski, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2021 for preparing and organising mass riots and inciting social hatred. Tsikhanouskaya lives in exile in Lithuania.

Last March, a Belarusian court sentenced her to 15 years in prison in absentia. It found her guilty of conspiracy to unconstitutionally seize power or of founding and leading an extremist group. Tsikhanouskaya earlier described the trial as fabricated and a revenge on the part of Belarus’ authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko.

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