On November 16-17, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya visited Prague at the invitation of the Czech Prime Minister to mark the anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Ms. Tsikhanouskaya met with Prime Minister Petr Fiala, President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil, Speaker of the lower house of Parliament Markéta Pekarová Adamová, and Belarusians living in Czechia. In addition, Ms. Tsikhanouskaya spoke at the international conference Russia’s Hybrid War Against the Democratic World, and took part in a celebration of the Memory of the Nation award ceremony.
Ms. Tsikhanouskaya also exchanged views with the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Science, Research and Innovation, and several presidential candidates (the elections in Czechia will be held next January). Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya raised the issue of support for the repressed, release of political prisoners, and simplification of migration procedures for Belarusians.
- With the President of Lithuania and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Ms. Tsikhanouskaya spoke at the opening of an international conference to mark the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution. The National Leader of Belarus urged the politicians to motivate Belarusians instead of punishing them. Assist them with visas, scholarships, as well as financial support for civil society and volunteer fighters in Ukraine. Demonstrate to Belarusians that they, too, have a European perspective.
- Symbolically, at 17:11 on November 17, the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s team submitted documents for the registration of the Office of Belarus Democratic Forces in the Czech Republic, the creation of which was discussed during Ms. Tsikhanouskaya’s earlier visits to Czechia. The Prime Minister and President have expressed their readiness to take part in the inauguration, scheduled for 2023.
- The Czech Republic is ready to allocate 10 scholarships for the next academic year to politically imprisoned Belarusian students. When they are released from prison, they may consider studying at Czech educational institutions. The Czech government has previously excluded Belarusian students who have scholarship support from the visa ban.
- Belarusians were also allowed to obtain residence permits for family reunification. Unlike Russian citizens, Belarusians may visit the Czech Republic with short-term Schengen visas issued by other countries. Also, Czechia operates a visa program for Civil Society, and repressed Belarusians are already allowed to obtain all kinds of long-term visas and residence permits through it.
- The National Leader of Belarus urged Czech senators to recognize GUBAZiK and KGB as terrorist organizations, and consider recognizing the Lukashenka regime as a terrorist regime.
- The Czech side is ready to provide advisory support in drafting the New Belarus Constitution and will invite Belarusian democratic forces to the 30th anniversary of the Czech Constitution in December.
- With the Lithuanian ambassador and a representative of the Polish Institute, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya displayed the memorial sign that will be erected in Prague on the site of Belarusian book printer Francysk Skaryna’s printing house.
- Czech politicians supported the campaign of solidarity with Ales Bialiatski and Belarusian human rights defenders. Earlier, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya had declared December 10 as the Day of Solidarity with Bialiatski, who is currently imprisoned. He will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on this day.
Source: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya