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11 Dec, 2020 15:33

Latest Tikhanovskaya attempt to discredit Lukashenko sees Belarusian ‘People’s Embassies’ open in 14 Western countries

Latest Tikhanovskaya attempt to discredit Lukashenko sees Belarusian ‘People’s Embassies’ open in 14 Western countries

Belarusian opposition figurehead Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has begun opening so-called 'People's Embassies' for Belarus, an initiative launched by members of the diaspora abroad who oppose current President Alexander Lukashenko.

The first of the symbolic ‘institutions’ opened on Thursday, internationally recognized as World Human Rights Day. Thus far, representation has been established in 14 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, along with two 'People's Consulates' in Scotland and Catalonia.

According to Tikhanovskaya, the movement is aimed at supporting Belarusians living in different countries around the world, and protecting their rights.

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“We must direct all our forces, all our energy, all our attention to the common cause,” Tikhanovskaya wrote on the messaging app Telegram. “Today, more than ever, it is important for us to be together.”

The founding declaration of the 'People's Embassies' claims that Belarusians abroad do not recognize the re-election of Lukashenko, insisting that the official embassies do not have the democratic legitimacy to represent the people of the country.

The opening ceremony, held via a video conference, also featured Pavel Latushko, a member of Tikhanovskaya's anti-Lukashenko Coordinating Council.

“I am convinced that the opening of people's embassies is only the first step towards building fundamentally new relations between democratic Belarus and its neighbors and other foreign partners,” he said.

Also on rt.com A split in Belarus’ opposition? Kolesnikova hints at talks with embattled Lukashenko but Tikhanovskaya favors West’s intervention

According to the website for the 'People's Embassies', named Belarus Abroad, they will function to inform the public about the situation in Belarus, establish contact with foreign governments and protect the rights of compatriots abroad.

Tikhanovskaya came second behind incumbent President Lukashenko as he won his sixth term in power in the August 9 election. That's according to official results, which are widely believed to have been rigged, with 80.1 percent of voters choosing the long-time president, and just 10.12 percent apparently voting for Tikhanovskaya.

After the closure of polling stations, demonstrations began against the alleged falsification of results. In the weeks since the election, protests have continued, with thousands of people regularly taking to the streets of Minsk. The country's law enforcement agencies have been accused of excessive violence, firing both tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds.

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