Fact Check: NO Extradition From Lithuania For Belarusian Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: NO Extradition From Lithuania For Belarusian Opposition Leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya No Handover

Is Lithuania determined to extradite Belarusian political activist and opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who found political refuge in the country? No, that's not true: Lithuania refused to hand over Tsikhanouskaya at the request of the General Prosecutor's Office in Belarus in 2021.

The story originated from a video (archived here) where it was published by sotnik_tiktok on June 21, 2023. The text under the video, translated from Russian, reads:

Lithuania intends to extradite Tsikhanouskaya. Non-stop protests in Lithuania after the infamous lethal incident between Kalinouski bandits force the Lithuanian government to take strict measures towards illegal stay of the fugitives ruled by Tsikhanouskaya.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-06-23 at 12.00.56 PM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri Jun 23 07:53:17 2023 UTC)

In the official statement on the extradition order of the Belarusian politician, Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielias Landsbergis commented: "Lithuania was and will be a brick wall behind which all democratic forces persecuted by regimes will find refuge. Therefore, everyone who found refuge in Lithuania can feel safe that they will not be handed over to the regimes - neither because of their struggle for democracy, nor for freedom of speech or belief. And we can say to the Belarusian regime - hell will freeze over sooner than we will consider your demands.

The protests mentioned in the TikTok video took place in Dieveniškės, a town in Lithuania, and are irrelevant to Belarusians relocating to Lithuania. The town's residents, about 6 kilometers away from the Belarusian border, expressed their discontent with the authorities' decision to accommodate migrants during the 2021-2022 border crisis between Belarus and European Union.

Tsikhanouskaya has been in exile since August 2020 after protests against the results of the presidential elections broke out. In July 2021 Tsikhanouskaya's office in Vilnius was accredited and received a diplomatic status.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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