2020.09.09 14:26

Lithuanian, EU diplomats arrive to protect Belarus’ Nobel laureate Alexievich from detention

BNS2020.09.09 14:26

Diplomats from Lithuania and other EU member states have on Wednesday arrived at the apartment of Belarusian Nobel Literature Prize laureate Svetlana Alexievich.

"We have received [information] that unknown people are ringing the bell of her apartment [who are] probably the security or police representatives,” Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus Andrius Pulokas told BNS on Wednesday.

“That's how we [...] decided that she's under the threat of detention as Svetlana Alexievich is the last member of the Coordination Council who is not detained or has not left Belarus,” he said.

Diplomats from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Austria, Romania and other countries are also inside the apartment, according to Pulokas.

Alexievich feels fine and is determined to stay in the country, he added.

"Svetlana is leaning towards just staying where she is now, in her apartment,” the diplomat said.

Alexievich is a member of the presidium of the Belarusian opposition's Coordination Council. She was summoned to the Belarusian Investigation Committee on August 26, where she refused to testify in the criminal case launched by the regime against the Coordination Council.

Currently, most members of the Coordination Council's presidium are either detained or have been forced to leave Belarus.

Lithuania's president calls for international response

"Brutal violations of HumanRights, unfortunately, continue in Belarus. Svetlana#Alexievich, NobelPrize winner, under threat of detention. Other members of Presidium of Coordination Council are either detained or deported. International community cannot remain silent!" Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda tweeted on Wednesday.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius also reacted to the situation.

"Unknown persons now knocking on the door of Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize laureate, the only member of Belarus’ Coordination Council still free. Actually they better knock at their conscience if it’s not too late," the minister tweeted.

Read more: Belarus applies ‘Stalinist methods’ to suppress opposition, says Lithuanian FM

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