Belarus – Sentencing of several opposition figures (6 March 2023)
France utterly denounces the sentencing of several Belarusian opposition figures today, particularly Ms Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s sentencing in absentia to 15 years in prison.
As Minister Catherine Colonna underlined to Ms Tikhanovskaya when she received her on 6 October 2022, France reaffirms its support for the Belarusian opposition’s fight for democracy and peace and salutes its courage.
France condemns the Belarusian authorities’ hounding of opposition candidates for the 2020 presidential election and renews its appeal for the authorities to hold a sincere, transparent dialogue with the democratic forces of Belarus.
These new sentences follow the 10-year prison sentence imposed on 3 March on activist Ales Bialiatski, who jointly won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize and is founder of the human rights NGO Viasna, and the sentencing of very many other political prisoners for simply expressing their opinions, particularly Andrzej Poczobut, a correspondent for Gazeta Wyborcza and a member of the Union of Poles in Belarus.