Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to visit Estonia on Friday ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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The march to support Belarusian women which took place in Tallinn on October 11. Source: Diana Olesjuk

Leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya will visit Estonia on Friday (January 22), Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) said on Wednesday.

"At my invitation, Svetlana Tikhanovskayaa will come to Estonia on Friday. She will also participate in a conference about human rights and media freedom in Belarus organized by Estonia on Friday," Reinsalu wrote on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. 

Minu kutsel tuleb reedel Eestisse Svjatlana Tsihhanovskaja. Ta osaleb reedel Tallinnast ka ettekandega Eesti korraldataval Valgevene inimõiguste olukorda ja meediavabadust käsitleval nõupidamisel.

Posted by Urmas Reinsalu on Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Tikhanovskaya will visit Estonia to take part in the virtual UN Security Council Arria-formula meeting on media freedom in Belarus, co-organized by Estonia which will be opened by Reinsalu.

The Arria-formula meeting will draw attention to the unjust detention of journalists in Belarus and other activities threatening media freedom that have been committed by the Belarusian authorities following the presidential elections on August 9, 2020. The meeting will be live-streamed on youtube.

It has been organized by UN Security Council members Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, together with additional co-sponsors Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.

While in Estonia, Tikhanovskaya will also meet with President Kersti Kaljulaid and Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. 

Tikhanovskaya is now in exile and is based in Lithuania. She was forced to leave Belarus after leader Alexander Lukashenko had been declared the winner in disputed presidential elections in August.

The three Baltic states have been strong supporters of Tikhanovskaya and have sanctioned dozens of Belarusian officials.

Editor's note: Information about Tikhanovskaya's visit has been added to this article.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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