While Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is trying to get rid of diplomats sympathizing with the protesters in the country, the largest faction of the European Parliament – the European People’s Party – announced on Wednesday evening that it was nominating the Belarusian opposition, led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, for the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
This is stated in the message on website of a political force.
“The democratic opposition of Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council and a number of opposition figures led by Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, will be nominated by the European People’s Party for the Sakharov Prize this year,” – said in the document.
A short list of nominees will be approved in October, and the announcement of the winners and the presentation of the prize should take place in November at a session of the European Parliament.
On September 9, President of the European People’s Party Donald Tusk came up with his own initiative, proposing to nominate the Tikhanovsky family for the Nobel Peace Prize, but this idea has so far remained only his personal initiative.
Recall that the prize “For Freedom of Thought” was established by the European Parliament in 1988 in honor of the Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov. It is awarded to individuals who have made “exceptional contributions to the fight for human rights around the globe.” Over the years, members of the punk band Pussy Riot, the former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, the Belarusian opposition leader Ales Bialiatsky and the Russian ex-governor Boris Nemtsov have been nominated for this award. In 2019, Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian activist convicted of terrorism in Russia, became its laureate.
As you know, protests have been going on in Belarus since August 9, when presidential elections were held in the country. In the early days, the security forces violently dispersed the demonstrators using flash-bang grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas. The actions of the security forces killed at least three protesters.
Earlier, “FACTS” wrote that the Investigative Committee of Belarus has brought charges against another opposition leader – a member of the Coordination Council of Belarus Maria Kolesnikova. She is accused of public calls for the seizure of power.