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Several European countries have offered to grant political asylum to Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune said on Monday. The Belarusian sprinter said on Sunday evening, “in safety” after having avoided a forced departure from Tokyo for having criticized coaches in her delegation.
Belarusian athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who avoided a forced departure from the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, could be offered political asylum in the European Union “in the coming days or in the coming weeks,” said Monday August 2 on RFI (from 7’08) the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune.
“Our Belarusian neighbor is an old-fashioned dictatorship, in all that is worst of a dictatorship, control, censorship, violence,” said the Secretary of State, who “welcomes” the CIO and the Japanese police put “in safety”, Sunday evening, the Belarusian sprinter.
“A number of European countries, we are looking at it with our partners, have proposed – if we can offer it in the coming weeks or days – political asylum. It would be the honor of Europe to do so. “, adds Clément Beaune.
>> To read: Tokyo 2021: a Belarusian athlete says she is “safe” after avoiding a forced departure from Tokyo
Among the European countries which have applied is Slovenia: its Prime Minister, Janez Janša, tweeted Sunday evening that Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was “welcome to Slovenia”.
The Czech Republic has also announced that it has offered asylum to the athlete. “The Japanese authorities have just confirmed to us that the athlete Krystsina Tsimanouskaya had received our offer of asylum,” Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said on Twitter.
“If she decides to accept it, we will do our best to help her. The Olympics have nothing to do with politics, the methods of the (Belarusian President Alexander) Lukashenko regime are absolutely shameful,” he said. -he adds.
Threat of forced return to Belarus for criticizing
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was due to compete on Monday in Tokyo in the women’s 200-meter series. On the eve of the competition on Sunday, the sprinter failed to be forcibly repatriated to Belarus after criticizing her coaches on Instagram during the Olympics.
The sportswoman, who had participated in the women’s 100-meter series on Friday, would have been ordered to do her business. She was then reportedly taken to the airport by two members of her delegation.
‼ ️Belarussian athlete Khrystina Tsimanouskaya, who is in Tokyo for the #Olympic Games and who criticized the regime in # Belarus, is being forcibly evicted by people in civilian clothes (no doubt from the KGB). If she returns, no doubt she will be arrested. pic.twitter.com/5J8I0dRR0i
– Andrei VAITOVICH (@andreivaitovich) August 1, 2021
In a video posted on social media, the sportswoman appealed to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). “I have been pressured and they are trying to get me out of the country without my consent. I am asking the IOC to intervene,” she said in the footage.
The Belarusian athlete is now under the protection of the Japanese police and assured, Sunday evening, to be “safe” in a police station at Tokyo airport. “I am safe and we are in the process of deciding where I am going to spend the night,” the athlete said in a statement released on Telegram on Sunday by the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation.
In a tweet published at the end of the day, the IOC announced “to examine the situation” and to have requested “clarifications” from the Belarusian National Olympic Committee.
“The IOC and Tokyo-2020 spoke directly to Krystsina Tsymanouskaya this (Sunday) evening. She is with authorities at Haneda Airport and accompanied by a member of the Tokyo-2020 team. She told us that ‘she felt safe,’ the IOC confirmed on Twitter, which the athlete urged to intervene in a video on Instagram.
The IOC and Tokyo 2020 have spoken to Krystsina Tsymanouskaya directly tonight. She is with the authorities at Haneda airport and is currently accompanied by a staff member of Tokyo 2020. She has told us that she feels safe. / 1
– IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) August 1, 2021
With Reuters and AFP