President Zeman wishes Belarusian opposition leader success in fight against Lukashenko

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Czech President Miloš Zeman expressed his support to Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and praised her courage, saying he wished the Belarusian opposition victory in the fight against what he is deeming the last European dictator.

President’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček stated this after Zeman received Tsikhanouskaya at his residence in Lány.

Tsikhanouskaya posted a similar comment on Twitter. She said Zeman had assured her of his unequivocal support for the democratic movement in Belarus. They also talked about opposition journalist Raman Pratasevich, who was recently detained by Belarusian security forces after the Ryanair flight he was on was forced to land. Furthermore, Zeman and Tsikhanouskaya touched on the subject of torture in Belarus or discussed how to support the Belarusian diaspora in the Czech Republic.

The Belarusian opposition leader began her four-day visit to the Czech Republic on Monday, meeting, among others, with Senate President Miloš Vystrčil and the Rector of Charles University, Tomáš Zima. She also met former First Lady Dagmar Havlová, with whom she spoke about former Czech President Václav Havel.

“His last letter was sent to Belarusian political prisoners,” she said on Twitter.

Tsikhanouskaya’s visit is accompanied by strict security measures, even though she is not automatically entitled to police protection. On her itinerary, there is also delivering a speech in the Czech Senate or meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, House Speaker Radek Vondráček, and Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek.

Last year, Tsikhanouskaya ran against Lukashenko in the August presidential election. According to official results, she won 10.1 percent of the vote. However, many believe that she received more votes than Lukashenko, who officially won. Many states, as well as the European Union, do not recognize the results of the elections.

Title image: Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya addresses supporters at a demonstration at the Old Town Square in Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, June 7, 2021. Tsikhanouskaya says Belarussians are planning a new wave of protests against longtime dictator Aleksander Lukashenko after his regime diverted a Ryanair passenger plane to arrest a dissident journalist last month. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

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