Belarus Opposition leader awarded Sakharov Human Rights Prize

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Belarus’ opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya,who was forced into exile following the presidential election in August, poses with the Sakharov human rights prize during the award ceremony at European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on Wednesday 16 December 2020.

Collecting the award at the European Parliament, the exiled presidential candidate who has demanded the resignation of president Alexander Lukashenko declared: “We are bound to win, and we will win.”

Belarus’ opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (L) is congratulated by President of EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen (R) after receiving the Sakharov human rights prize at European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 16 December 2020.

David Sassoli, the European Parliament president, presenting the prize, paid tribute to Tsikhanouskaya and the Belarusian opposition.

“Over the last months you have showed the world what it means not to give up, you have defended your rights and you have not given up the struggle,” he said, at the ceremony in the EU Parliament chamber.

Representatives of democratic opposition in Belarus Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (L) and Veranika Tsapkala (R) pose with European Parliament President David Sassoli (C) after a ceremony of 2020 Sakharov Prize of European Parliament for Representatives of democratic opposition in Belarus, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 16 December 2020. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

“The strength of your spirit has shown the way to revolution, which has taken power in the country in 2020 and we pay tribute to you and to your resistance and to your perseverance.”

Belarus has been rocked by ongoing unprecedented political demonstrations against the regime of Alexander Lukashenko, who is accused of rigging the presidential elections.

The Sakharov Prize is awarded each year to those recognised for defending human rights and freedom of thought.

President of the European Parliament David Sassoli (C) applauds and congratulates Belarus opposition figure, Veranika Tsapkala (R) and Belarus’ opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (L) during the Sakharov human rights prize ceremony at European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 16 December 2020.

Via EPA-EFE/JOHN THYS /OLIVIER HOSLET/ POOL

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