A Belarusian sprinter competing at the Tokyo Olympics released a video on Sunday calling for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help her avoid being returned to her native country against her will.
Your country is a dictatorship.
Athlete Kristina Timanovskaya said in the short video released on social media: “I was put under pressure and they are trying to forcibly take me out of the country without my consent. I ask the IOC to intervene.”
And what are they doing?
The IOC said in a statement to CNN: “The IOC has seen the reports in the media, is looking into the situation and has asked the NOC (National Olympic Committee of Belarus) for clarification.”
As for Kristina…
…as soon as Timanovskaya arrived at the airport, she approached a Japanese police officer and said she would like to apply for political asylum.
As is her right. But what of her sports federation?
The Belarusian National Olympic Committee said Sunday that Timanovskaya was withdrawn from the Games due to her “emotional and psychological state.”
OH look, they are using the excuse of mental health to force an athlete home BEFORE she has a chance to defect.
I hope she is successful in NOT being sent without her consent back to the dictatorship of Belarus.
A Belarusian athlete walked into a Polish Embassy in Japan on Monday, a day after refusing to board a flight at a Tokyo airport that she said she was taken to against her wishes by her team.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, 24, will seek asylum in Poland, said a member of the local Belarus community who was in touch with her.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz wrote on Twitter that Tsimanouskaya has been “offered a humanitarian visa and is free to pursue her sporting career in Poland if she so chooses.”
An activist group said the sprinter is applying for a visa. Vadim Krivosheyev of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation said the group has bought her a ticket to Warsaw for Aug. 4.
Just make sure you get on the right plane, and it is not FORCE down into Belarus like they did to arrest a journalist not that long ago.
Tsimanouskaya spent the night in an airport hotel after she went to Japanese police at Haneda airport seeking protection late on Sunday, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told a media conference. A number of agencies were in contact with the sprinter, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, he said.
In a brewing diplomatic incident, both Poland and the Czech Republic publicly offered her assistance on Monday.
Good for both Poland and the Czech Republic.
MOSCOW (AP) — Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who plans to seek refuge in Europe after accusing team officials of trying to force her to leave the Tokyo Games early, said Tuesday that officials from her country “made it clear” she would face punishment if she returned home.
From a dictatorship, punishment is what they do.
Tsimanouskaya, who had criticized the management of her team on social media, said officials hustled her to the airport and tried to put her on a plane back to Belarus, where the autocratic government has relentlessly stifled dissent and any criticism. She said she hopes to continue her career, but for now her safety remains a priority.
Criticized them for making a surprise decision to put her into a race she never ran before, and would not allow her to run in her STRONG event.
The standoff began after Tsimanouskaya’s criticism of how officials were managing her team set off a massive backlash in state-run media back home. The runner said on her Instagram account that she was put in the 4×400 relay even though she has never raced in the event. She was then barred from competing in the 200 meters.
How do you expect to compete in a relay, if you have never practiced the hand-off/hand-over?
Tsimanouskaya waged — and lost — a legal fight to run in that race. The Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a statement that it denied Tsimanouskaya’s request for an interim ruling that would have allowed her to run at the Olympic Stadium on Monday.
So her “coaches” screwed her over her race.
On Tuesday, Tsimanouskaya called for an investigation and “possibly taking sanctions against the head coach who approached me and who deprived me of the right to compete in the Olympic Games.” She said she wanted international sports authorities “to investigate the situation, who gave the order, who actually took the decision that I can’t compete any more.”
She entered the Olympics to compete in the 200m. This flip-flop by her coaches is stupid as hell.
Belarus’ authoritarian government has relentlessly targeted anyone even mildly expressing dissent since a presidential election a year ago triggered a wave of unprecedented mass protests. And it has also gone to extremes to stop its critics, including recently diverting a plane to the capital of Minsk and arresting a dissident journalist aboard.
But that is not ALL they did to dissenting voices.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A Belarusian activist who ran a group in Ukraine helping Belarusians fleeing persecution was found dead in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, local police said Tuesday.
Oh, what did they find?
Vitaly Shishov, leader of the Kyiv-based Belarusian House in Ukraine, was found hanged in one of the city’s parks not far from his home, police said in a statement.
That is suspect.
A probe has been launched, with police investigating whether it was a suicide or a murder made to look like suicide, head of Ukraine’s National Police Igor Klymenko told reporters on Tuesday.
You mean it was a “clinton” style-deletion?
The Belarusian human rights center Viasna cited Shishov’s friends as saying that he has recently been followed by strangers during his runs.
Sounds likely those strangers wanted to help force a self-deletion.
In Belarus in recent weeks, authorities have ramped up the pressure against non-governmental organizations and independent media, conducting more than 200 raids of offices and apartments of activists and journalists in July alone, and detaining dozens of people.
Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has vowed to continue what he called a “mopping-up operation” against civil society activists whom he has denounced as “bandits and foreign agents.”
And this is what that Olympic runner was going to be forced back home to face.
Belarus’ authoritarian government has at times gone to extremes in its crackdown on dissent, including recently diverting a plane to the capital of Minsk and arresting a dissident aboard.
You can’t trust dictators.
In Ukraine, he was under surveillance, and “both local sources and our people in Belarus” have alerted the group to the possibility of “various provocations, including kidnapping and liquidation.”
“There is no doubt that this was a planned operation by security operatives to liquidate a Belarusian, dangerous for the regime. We will continue to fight for the truth about Vitaly’s death,” the group said.
Yep, the activist was most definitely liquidated by agents of that dictatorship.
Klymenko of the National Police told reporters on Tuesday that there were indeed injuries discovered on Shishov’s body — scratched skin on his nose, a cut on his lip and an injury on his left knee. He wouldn’t say, however, whether these resulted from violence. Klymenko added that police haven’t received any complaints about surveillance from Shishov.
So he tried to fight, and lost.
Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, the Belarusian sprinter who was removed from the Tokyo Olympics by her country after criticizing coaches, is auctioning off what she calls one of the most precious medals in her career to support the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF).
And what is the BSSF?
The BSSF supports Belarusian athletes jailed or sidelined for their political views.
And what is this medal?
Tsimanouskaya, 24, won silver as part of the team relay at the 2019 European Games held in Minsk, Belarus. She told the BSSF the medal is one of her “most precious ones.”
“Those competitions were extremely important for me as they were held at the home arena,” Tsimanouskaya said.
And what of the people who tried to force her onto a plane back to the dictator?
The two coaches who told Tsimanouskaya to pack and head to the airport were stripped of their accreditation by the IOC on Friday. They were both asked to leave the Olympic Village in Tokyo. The IOC is investigating the incident on a larger scope.
Political interference in the games is a big no-no.