Lithuania refuses to extradite to Belarus opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya
Vilnius will not extradite Belarusian opposition politician Svetlana Tikhanovskaya to Minsk, according to Lithuanian Deputy Foreign Minister Mantas Adomėnas statment.
Adomėnas added to the statement that any request from the regime would be “a purely performative act”.
The Belarusian Prosecutor-General’s Office has asked Lithuania to extradite Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for bringing her to justice on criminal charges.
“The Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Republic of Belarus has dispatched a request to the Prosecutor-General’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania for the extradition for Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for bringing her to justice on criminal charges for crimes against the rules of administration, public security and the state,” the Prosecutor-General’s Office said on Friday, March 5.
However, the extradition will not be granted, as Lithuania regards the case against her political persecution, Adomėnas told Deutsche Welle earlier this week.
“I think the Belarusian leadership acutely understands that any request for the extradition of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya will be a purely performative act. Lithuania does not extradite people who face political persecution. Minsk knows perfectly well what our answer will be,” he said.
When asked whether the extradition refusal could further jeopardize the already tense relations between the two countries Adomėnas replied: “Our ambassador was recalled for consultations back in October last year. […] It is hardly possible to tense official relations any more.”
Tikhanovskaya’s accuses include chraches under part 1 of article 13 and part 2 of article 293 (preparations for massive unrest) and part 1 of article 13 and part 1 of article 292 (preparations for seizing buildings and facilities) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Tikhanovskaya has been in Lithuania since August 2020.