Belarus: opposition leader calls for international aid

Belarus: opposition leader calls for international aid

After the protests in belarus against ruler alexander lukashenko in recent weeks, opposition leader svetlana tikhanovskaya has called for help from germany.

"I very much hope that leading figures in germany will be able to influence this situation and help to bring about the start of negotiations," the 38-year-old said at the start of a visit to berlin on monday evening.

Tikhanovskaya also appealed for support from the international community. "We are now forced to ask our neighboring countries to act as mediators in the dialogue between the people of belarus and the state". We propose to take the OSCE," said the politician, who lives in exile in lithuania.

Protests must remain peaceful, she urged. This is a peculiarity of the demonstrations in belarus, as well as the role of women. "This regime shows its weakness by calling the police on the shining, peaceful women," she said and demanded, "we deserve to live under completely normal conditions."The aim of the opponents of the government was to hold new and honest elections, so that belarusians would have the opportunity to elect a new president. The state has so far given no signal of wanting to enter into a dialogue.

Earlier, the federal government reaffirmed its support for the peaceful protests in belarus. Tikhanovskaya is a leading figure of the opposition in belarus and of all those who take to the streets against electoral fraud and the mistreatment of peaceful demonstrators there, said government spokesman steffen seibert.

Merkel will meet tikhanovskaya on tuesday. "The respect for this civil rights movement, the clear condemnation of the way the elections were conducted, all that is expressed in this visit," seibert said. On wednesday, there will be a talk with aubenminister heiko maas (SPD).

Since the disputed presidential election at the beginning of august, people have regularly gone on the rampage against lukashenko. The 66-year-old had himself confirmed with 80.1 percent of the votes for a sixth term. The opposition sees svetlana tikhanovskaya as the true winner. She had fled to the EU neighboring country of lithuania and steers the protests from there. EU does not recognize election results. Human rights activists accuse the power apparatus of crimes against humanity. There have already been several deaths, hundreds injured and more than 10.000 arrests.

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