Belarus’ opposition chief Tikhanovskaya wins Woman in Power Award

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Belarus’ opposition chief and human rights activist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has gained the Woman in Power Award for exhibiting extraordinary management in Europe, after she championed the battle for restoring democracy in Belarus from the regime of long-time ruler Aleksander Lukashenko.
“I encourage all of you to keep focusing on Belarus and support us in our fight for freedom. I am very thankful to all of you for this award. It belongs to every brave woman in Belarus who fights for freedom and dignity,” Tikhanovskaya stated in a video assertion following the announcement.
The awards, organised by the European Movement International (EMI) and the European Women’s Lobby are handed out yearly to honour ladies striving to advance the European challenge of their skilled or non-public capability. They cowl 4 classes, together with Woman in Power, Woman in Action, Woman in Business and Woman in Youth Activism, and are determined by a jury of 9, that features the Hungarian opposition MEP and Vice-President of Renew Europe group, Katalin Cseh and Europe’s first Public Prosecutor, Laura Codruta Kovesi. 
“Tikhanovskaya stood up to a ruthless dictator after he tore into her family and relentlessly leads a movement of Belarusian freedom fighter in the face of unspeakable terror. You truly are our hero, Sviatlana,” Cseh tweeted after the announcement of the outcomes. 
In October, the democratic opposition in Belarus, represented by the Coordination Council additionally gained the European Parliament’s 2020 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The initiative of courageous ladies and political and civil society figures includes of, amongst others, Tsikhanovskaya, the primary opposition candidate, Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich, musician and political activist Maria Kalesnikava and political activists Olga Kovalkova and Veronika Tsepkalo. 
“The fight for women’s rights is not one that women must pursue alone. It is our collective responsibility to strive for a society where everyone is equal and to stand up for the European ideals we espouse,” stated Petros Fassoulas, the Secretary General of European Movement International.
He added that the Women of Europe Awards is the organisation’s “way of showcasing the role women play in politics, business and society at large, and to celebrate their contribution towards European unity and cooperation.” 
Among the opposite nominees for the class had been, the Green MEP Terry Reintke, an activist for LGBT+ rights and girls’s rights, and Khamshajiny Gunaratnam, Deputy Mayor of Oslo. Opening the award ceremony, EU Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli praised Ursula von der Leyen’s aim for a Union of Equality, stating, that it displays a union “where women are acknowledging and treated as equal and benefits all of society.”  
“Women of Europe in education, in science, in healthcare and entrepreneurship, in democratic processes and elections, you all deserve recognition,” the Commissioner added. 
After Belarus’ Central Election Commission (CEC) introduced on August 9 that incumbent president Lukashenko had gained greater than 80% of the vote, whereas his most important rival, Tikhanovskaya, had allegedly gathered 9.9%, she fled to Lithuania, citing security considerations. The figures launched by CEC and amid accusations that 1000’s weren’t allowed to vote, and that exit polls and official outcomes from CEC have been rigged, led to violent clashes within the capital, Minsk, with movies circulating on the internet exhibiting police forces cracking down on demonstrators. 
Thereafter, a whole bunch of 1000’s of Belarusians have been taking to the streets, asking for Lukashenko to step down, for honest elections and for the discharge of political prisoners within the nation. Hundreds have been arbitrarily arrested and dozens killed by the nation’s safety forces, prompting an outcry by the European Union, which determined to slap the strongman Lukashenko and his allies, with financial sanctions.