Tichanovskaya Receives News of Her Husband's Death
Belarusian politician Tichanovskaya reports that she has anonymously learned about the alleged death of her imprisoned husband, Tichanovsky. There is no proof of this claim. The opposition figure was sentenced to a long prison term in 2021.
Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya has stated that she received an anonymous message indicating that her husband had died in prison.
44-year-old Sergei Tichanovsky, a well-known blogger and opposition activist, was arrested in 2020 after announcing plans to run against President Alexander Lukashenko in the presidential elections. Tichanovsky is said to have "organized mass uprisings."
Following his arrest, his wife decided to run against Lukashenko and mobilized large crowds in support of her candidacy. The official result awarded Lukashenko a sixth term in office, a result rejected by the opposition and the West as fraudulent.
Unprecedented mass protests erupted after the elections. Under pressure from authorities, Tichanovskaya left the country. Her husband was initially sentenced to 18 years in prison, which was later increased to 19 years and six months. He was charged with "preparing and organizing mass uprisings."
No news since March
Tichanovskaya told the news agency AP that she has not received any news from her husband since March. Letters sent to him are no longer delivered, and his lawyer has not been allowed to see him. "I know nothing about him. I haven't received a single letter, and there has been no communication through his lawyer," she stated in writing to AP.
While acknowledging that she has no proof that the anonymous letter's contents are true, she called on the authorities in Belarus to "provide evidence that Sergei is alive and show him."
Tichanovsky is not the only imprisoned opposition figure whose fate is uncertain. According to the Belarusian human rights group Viasna, there are currently 1,501 political prisoners in the country.