Svetlana Tikhanovskaya paid a working visit to Iceland. The main topic of all meetings is how Iceland can help independent media, workers, doctors and the entire civil society of Belarus in conditions when the regime reacts to sanctions by intensifying repression against people. Outcomes:
- Tikhanovskaya was received at the highest level. She met with President Gvudni Johannesson, Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdouttir, Foreign Minister Goodluigur Tor Thordarson and representatives of parliament.
- Svetlana Tikhanovskaya said that it is very important for Belarusians that sanctions against the regime are quick and effective, because the repressions are intensifying. She told the story of Yekaterina Vinnikova, a law student, who received 15 days for naming the repressed teachers and lawyers, and other Belarusians who are suffering in prisons right now, during her graduation speech. Tikhanovskaya mentioned the huge flow of illegal migrants on the border with Lithuania as a reaction of the regime to the active support of the Belarusian government by the Lithuanian government.
- We discussed with the Prime Minister the strengthening of assistance to the media, telegram channels and YouTube projects. The prime minister herself worked as a journalist and understands how important independent media are. At the meetings, Tikhanovskaya talked about the self-organization of Belarusians: “Rabochy Rukh”, telemedicine project okdoc.me, samizdat.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs asked Tikhanovskaya for a list of specific actions that Iceland can do for Belarusians. He said that he would raise the issue of Belarus in the OSCE and the North Baltic Eight.
- With the President of Iceland, they talked, among other things, about the installation of a monument to Thorvald Codransson – a missionary and traveler who was one of the first baptizers of Belarus and died in Polotsk.
- The MPs asked how they can help Belarus – and Tikhanovskaya invited them to help include the topic of resolving the crisis in Belarus on the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
- With the rector of the University of Reykjavik, Tihanovskaya discussed scholarships and training programs for repressed students, primarily distance ones.
- Also during the meetings, they discussed current trade relations with Belarus, for example, the export of seafood. Tikhanovskaya stressed the importance of business transparency and respect for human rights. If a business is conducted according to corrupt schemes with the regime, and the rights of workers are violated, this is the reason for getting into the sanctions lists.
- Tikhanovskaya urged Icelanders to write to political prisoners, and the first lady supported this idea. The President of Iceland, together with Tikhanovskaya, went to the diaspora and greeted the Belarusians.