Exiled Belarus opposition leader wins Swedish rights prize
August 9, 2023 08:19 PM
Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya on Wednesday won a rights prize in memory of Sweden's assassinated foreign minister Anna Lindh for her "tireless" fight for democracy, the award's organisers said.
The Anna Lindh Prize, worth 100,000 Swedish kronor ($9,400), is given "to encourage primarily women and youth who, in Anna Lindh's spirit, show the courage to work against indifference, prejudice, oppression and injustice", according to the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund that awards the honour.
Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory against Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in 2020 presidential elections, has been in exile since the aftermath of the disputed vote, and lives in Lithuania.
"She has tirelessly continued the fight. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is a symbol of a free and democratic Belarus," the fund said in a statement.
Belarus is an authoritarian state in which opposition voices and independent media have been stifled during Lukashenko's nearly three decades in power.
The award was announced on the third anniversary of the 2020 election that critics and Western leaders say was rigged.
Anna Lindh was murdered on September 11, 2003 by a mentally ill young Swedish man, Mijailo Mijailovic, who was of Serbian origin.
The prize will be officially awarded to Tikhanovskaya on September 11 in a ceremony in Stockholm marking the 20th anniversary of Lindh's death.