Belarus Demands Extradition of Opposition Leader Tichanovskaya

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Belarus has requested the extradition of opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.


She sought refuge in EU member state Lithuania after the controversial election victory of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Justice in Belarus announced on Friday that the neighbouring country had been asked to hand over the politician. Belarus wants to prosecute her for, among other things, “crimes against the established order and public security”.

The politically inexperienced Tikhanovskaya took part in the presidential election last year because her husband was arrested.

She lost to incumbent President Lukashenko, who received about 80 percent of the vote, according to official figures. This caused great social unrest because many Belarusians think that fraud has taken place.

Belarusian authorities say Tikhanovskaya has conspired with employees to cause riots and take over government buildings in the country’s second city, Gomel. Her spokesman has contradicted that, saying the politician only supports peaceful protests.

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