Belarusian opposition members: Tichanowskaya receives Charlemagne Prize from Aachen

Status: 17.12.2021 12:22 p.m.

The Aachen Charlemagne Prize goes to the face of the opposition to the ruler Lukashenko in Belarus. Svetlana Tichanovskaya will receive the award on Ascension Day. With her two fellow campaigners are honored.

The three Belarusian oppositionists Svetlana Tichanowskaja, Maria Kolesnikowa and Weronika Zepkalo will receive the Aachen Charlemagne Prize 2022. They would be honored for their courageous commitment to freedom, democracy and the upholding of human rights, announced the board of directors of the International Charlemagne Prize in Aachen. The chairman Jürgen Linden said that all three had accepted the award “with great friends”.

Call to Europeans

You are a “unique role model” against dictatorship, oppression and an injustice state. The militancy of women should also remind many of the political leaders in Europe to “pay more attention to Belarus and work to ensure that more democratic structures are finally created there”. The choice of the winners is thus a “call to the sometimes tiring European society to remember these European values ​​again and to stand up for them more energetically,” said Lindner.

Tichanovskaya lives in exile

Tichanowskaja is the face of the opposition to the authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. When her husband was not allowed to run for the presidential election in Belarus, she ran herself last year. Lukashenko, who was often called the “last dictator in Europe”, was once again declared the winner, but the West does not recognize this after reports of massive forgeries.

The 39-year-old Tichanovskaya is now living in exile. Her husband is in custody in Belarus. Tichanowskaja is supported by Kolesnikowa, who was sentenced to eleven years in a prison camp at the beginning of September in an internationally criticized process, and Zepkalo. The two women living in freedom wanted to accept the award themselves. Her sister wanted to come for Kolesnikova, said Linden.

Contribution to European unification

The honor is to be presented on May 26, 2022 in the coronation hall of Aachen city hall. The Charlemagne Prize has been awarded since 1950 for special services to European unification. The most prominent winners include Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron. With a one-year delay due to the pandemic, the latest prize was awarded to the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in October.

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