2 Apr 2021 21:40

Belarusian KGB puts Tikhanovskaya on list of entities involved in terrorism

MINSK. April 2 (Interfax) - The Belarusian State Security Committee (KGB) has included former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, member of the Belarusian opposition's Coordination Council Pavel Latushko, and 15 other Belarusian citizens on a list of organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities, the KGB said on Friday.

"The KGB Investigative Directorate is investigating a criminal case initiated by the Belarusian Prosecutor General's Office with regard to participants in the BYPOL initiative based on a fact of the organization of acts of terrorism in the cities of Borisov and Minsk on March 25, 2021, committed by Vyacheslav Maleychuk," it said.

"It has been determined that S. Tikhanovskaya, P. Latushko, and 15 [other] citizens of the Republic of Belarus staying abroad were involved in said organization's unlawful activities," the KGB said.

A total of 18 individuals have been charged in a criminal case dealing with an act of terrorism committed by an organized group (Belarusian Criminal Code Article 16, Part 4 and Article 289, Part 3). The suspects have been placed on the international wanted list, it said.

The KGB has drawn up documents to have Tikhanovskaya extradited from Lithuania and Latushko from Poland, it said.

All the individuals implicated in the criminal case have been put on the list of organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities, the KGB said.

Tikhanovskaya's press service told Interfax that her inclusion on the "terrorist list" would not affect the negotiations the Belarusian opposition is pursuing on various platforms, "if only in the sense that everyone understands that the process of forcing [Minsk] to negotiations must be sped up as much as possible."

Tikhanovskaya earlier proposed that Belarusians hold "a nationwide voting" and described it as a wake-up call for international partners. The opposition is planning to launch this voting to hold "negotiations with those representatives of the regime who are willing to think about the future and make mature decisions, rather than drag the crisis to a complete disaster."

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe appears to be the most likely platform for negotiations with the Belarusian authorities, in the opposition's view.

Belarus has seen continuous protests against the official results of the presidential election that took place on August 9, 2020. The authorities declared incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko the winner. Lukashenko has been in office since 1994. The opposition does not recognize the results of the presidential election, saying the election was rigged. The protesters are demanding Lukashenko's resignation, the release of political prisoners, and a new election.