Thu, 04 Mar 2021

Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya will address the United Nations' Security Council this week over an ongoing crackdown on protesters and independent media in her country.

Tsikhanouskaya's press team said on Telegram that she will raise the issue of jailed activists and reporters at an online session of the UN Security Council on January 22.

'Svyatlana will talks about the case against [jailed blogger] Ihar Losik, who has been on hunger strike for more than a month, journalists Katsyaryna Barysevich, Katsyaryna Andreyeva, Daryya Chultsova, [and] media manager Andrey Alyaksadrau,' the press service said, adding that Tsikhanouskaya will also talk about 'other prisoners of conscience' in Belarus, including Dzmitry Furmanau, Uladzimer Kniha, and Yauhen Raznichenka, who went on trial in Belarus over collecting signatures of Tsikhanouskaya's supporters to nominate her as presidential candidate last year.

Tsikhanouskaya will also raise the issue of launching 'an international investigation into the crimes of the [President Alyaksandr] Lukashenka regime and will call for holding a formal session of the UN Security Council to address the crisis in Belarus,' the post added.

The address with be Tsikhanouskaya's second to the UN since the beginning of a violent crackdown by Lukashenka's government on protesters who charge he rigged his reelection victory on August 9, 2020.

In her previous online address to the UN in September 2020, Tsikhanouskaya called for sanctions against Belarusian officials involved in human rights violations in Belarus and urged the UN to send an international mission to her country to monitor ongoing mass violations of human rights there.

Thousands -- including media members -- have been detained by law enforcement during the crackdown, with scores injured.

The European Union and the United States have declined to recognize Lukashenka's reelection and have imposed sanctions in connection with the crackdown on protesters.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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