Belarus opposition leader demands ends to violence, free and fair elections

FILE PHOTO: Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya gestures as she celebrates her birthday with members of the Belarusian community in Vilnius, Lithuania, September 11, 2020. REUTERS/Janis Laizans

GENEVA (Reuters) – Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, in a speech at the U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday, demanded the country’s authorities end violence against protesters and set up a free and fair presidential election.

Tsikhanouskaya fled her homeland for Lithuania amid a police crackdown in Belarus following the Aug. 9 presidential election, which official results said incumbent Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide.

Speaking at the same event, Yury Ambrazevih, Belarus ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, said it was not acceptable to use the body to interfere in a country’s election.

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