Connect with us

World News

Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya says ‘harsh’ sanctions needed

Thaiger

Published

 on 

<div>Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya says 'harsh' sanctions needed</div>

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya — currently living in exile in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius — has called for harsher sanctionsagainst strongman Alexander Lukashenko’s regime, adding this is the only effective way to put pressure on him and his administration.

“Lukashenko only understands the language of force and economic sanctions. This is the mechanism that should be used … the sanctions must be maximally tough,” Tsikhanouskaya told DW in an interview Saturday while on a two-day visit to Berlin.

Widening the net

The last three rounds of sanctions the European Union imposed on Lukashenko and other high-ranking Belarusian officials have been of a “rather moral character,” she added.

Tikhanovskaya expressed hope the next round of punitive measures will involve a greater number of law enforcement officials implicated in violence against pro-democracy protesters and opponents of the regime.

‘Europe’s last dictator’

At the end of 2020, Lukashenko — criticized as “Europe’s last dictator” — along with his government and closest allies, were slapped with sanctions by the European Union following Belarus’ disputed August 9, 2020, presidential election, and subsequent violent protests. Tikhanovskaya is widely considered by many to be the winner of the vote. The EU no longer recognizes Lukashenko to be the head of state.

Currently, the 88 people sanctioned, including Lukashenko, are banned from entering the EU, and all of their European bank accounts have been frozen. In addition to the individuals listed, the sanctions extend to seven state enterprises and organizations within the country.

Current sanctions ‘not sufficent’

Tikhanovskaya is convinced these sanctions are not sufficient, especially after it became clear, she said, that Lukashenko and his regime pose a threat not only to Belarusians, but to other states as well.

The 38-year-old was referring to an incident in May where Belarusian authorities forced a Ryanair passenger plane on its way from Athens to Vilnius to land in Minsk. Whilst in the capital, authorities ordered government critic Raman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega to deplane. Both remain in detention.

Following the incident, the bloc then imposed sanctions on Belarus, banning Belarusian airlines from flying over EU airspace. Brussels, in turn, requested EU carriers refrain from flying over Belarusian airspace.

Appeal to EU politicians

Tikhanovskaya used her interview on DW’s “To the Point” talk show to appeal to European politicians, saying their policies “should not be based on what they see on TV, but on people’s suffering.”

As of June 12, Belarusian human rights center Viasna reported 477 people are being held as political prisoners across the country. One of them, Sergey Tikhanovsky — Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s husband — a popular blogger who had intended on running for president, but was arrested in May 2020. He currently faces up to 15 years in prison on various charges — including organizing mass unrest and inciting hatred.

Following her husband’s imprisonment, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya ran as a presidential candidate. Tsikhanouskaya had a strong following and posed a genuine contender to win the vote. However, Lukashenko claimed victory, which saw massive demonstrations erupt across the country. Those protesting were violently suppressed. Tsikhanouskaya was forced to flee the country.

Only new elections and a change to the country’s political system, Tsikhanouskaya told DW, will allow the country to get out of its current political and humanitarian crisis. “Lukashenko can’t stay in power,” she added.

While in Europe, Tsikhanouskaya said she got to meet “democratic politicians,” politicians “who care about people’s opinion.”

“Having seen that, I got an idea of what I’d like to have in Belarus.”

On a personal note, Tsikhanouskaya confessed she is often tired and scared.

“But I understand I have no right to give up, because people who are in jail didn’t give up. They now are suffering for us,” Tikhanovskaya added.

“Only these people, the families of those repressed in Belarus, have given me the energy to go on.”

Asked whether she believes she can return to Belarus, Tikhanovskaya said: “I’ll go back home, as soon as my home is ready for me.”

SOURCE: DW News

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand5 hours ago

Department head predicts Covid-19 could last up to another year

World6 hours ago

Swedish prison hostage situation resolved with pizza

Thailand8 hours ago

Minister: foreigners, migrant workers are cared for amid Covid-19

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

“Withhold Intubation” for certain older Thammasat Hospital patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Bang Sue vaccination centre open for expats 60+, under must wait

Coronavirus News & Updates13 hours ago

“Covid-19” deaths said to cause crematorium in Bangkok to partially collapse

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand13 hours ago

Nakhon Sawan farmers make large profits growing fingerroot as Covid cure

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Leaked document: military arranging private Moderna vaccines

Thailand15 hours ago

Nakhon Si Thammarat arrest drug suspect hiding in jar

Media15 hours ago

19 year old man drowns in a Kanchanaburi river while rescuing his puppy

Thailand15 hours ago

Online registration site up for interprovincial travel permission

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox tweak, ‘filthy rich’ visa, Chon Buri restrictions | July 23

Phuket15 hours ago

18 infections today in Phuket creeps closer to 90/week threshold

Thailand16 hours ago

BMA plans to open 53 “community isolation centres”

Thailand16 hours ago

Rural Kanchanaburi students struggle with lessons

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending