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HomeWorld NewsBelarusian Olympic Athlete Flies to Poland After Seeking Refuge

Belarusian Olympic Athlete Flies to Poland After Seeking Refuge

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The Belarusian sprinter Krystina Tsimanouskaya has reached Vienna after gaining a humanitarian visa in Poland.

 The Austrian government has said she would travel to Poland after she lands in Vienna.

Tsimanouskaya refused to fly home after she voiced fears over safety and demanded Tokyo police protection.

She said her team was trying to force her on board the plane against her wishes. 

Tsimanouskaya expressed fears that she would face punishment at home for publicly criticising her coaches for their “negligence”.

Tsimanouskaya said in an interview with the Associated Press that officials from her team had “made it clear” she would face punishment if she returned home to an autocratic government that has relentlessly stifled any criticism.

Poland later granted her a humanitarian visa after taking refuge in its embassy in Tokyo.

READ: France to Relieve COVID-19 Restrictions

“As we have indicated many times, we do not provide details of the flight route for safety reasons,” the Polish deputy foreign minister, Marcin Przydacz, said in a post on Twitter.

 He wrote that Tsimanouskaya was “being taken care of by the Polish diplomatic service”.

Belarus Under Spotlight

The Belarusian government has yet to comment on the incident

However, the incident has again put the spotlight on Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled since 1994. 

Last year, nationwide protests over his disputed re-election were violently repressed by the security forces.

The Belarusian authorities violently suppressed the angry protests.

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