In Belarus, the trial of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the leader of the opposition to the regime of President Lukashenko, starts. Tichanovskaya is not present at the trial and has been in exile in Lithuania for two years.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, she called the trial against her “a farce” and “personal revenge” by Lukashenko.
“I am accused of more than ten crimes. Does that change anything for me? No,” Tikhanovskaya writes on Twitter. Today the trial against her starts in Minsk; she is accused of high treason, among other things. Tikhanovskaya herself is not in Belarus for the trial. She has been living in Lithuania for two years. She fled there after the 2020 presidential elections. Tichanovskaya responds to the process from the World Economic Forum.
Svetlana Tichanovskaya (40) participated in the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus. According to the opposition and international observers, she also won, but the Lukashenko regime did not accept and claimed a big victory.
Tikhanovskaya became the face of protests against the election results and Lukashenko, who has been in power in Belarus continuously since 1994. Those protests were crushed with a heavy hand: masses of people were arrested, and horrific stories came out about police brutality. According to the UN, hundreds of detained demonstrators were mistreated and raped by security forces. All opposition leaders are in prison or have fled the country.
“In Belarus, there is no such thing as a fair trial,” says Tichanovskaya. “This is a farce, a show, which the regime uses to frighten the people of Belarus so they will not revolt. It is Lukashenko’s revenge against the people who oppose him.”
She also expects to receive a prison sentence of several decades. “I don’t know how long this ‘trial’ will last, but they will probably sentence me for many years. I don’t even know exactly what I’m being accused of. I’ve never spoken to my so-called lawyer.”