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Belarus Olympic athlete row: What you’ll want to know | Human Rights Information

Sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya below safety of Polish embassy in Tokyo after accusing Belarus of attempting to power her to fly house.

The case of Belarusian Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya has gripped the world since Sunday, when the 24-year-old sprinter accused her Olympic group of taking her to Tokyo airport to be flown house in opposition to her needs after she criticised its administration.

Tsimanouskaya has claimed she was warned by Belarusian officers that she would face “punishment” upon returning house from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Fearing for her security, she sought the safety of Japanese police on the airport as an alternative of boarding the Belarus-bound jet and later made for the Polish embassy in Tokyo as stories abounded that she was looking for asylum in Europe.

She has since been granted a humanitarian visa by Poland’s authorities.

Right here’s what you’ll want to learn about her case:

What sparked the standoff?

Tsimanouskaya mentioned the standoff started after she criticised how officers have been managing her group, setting off an enormous backlash in state-run media shops in her native Belarus, the place longtime President Alexander Lukashenko has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent since a contested August 2020 election.

The runner mentioned in a video posted on her Instagram account that her coaches had registered her for the 4×400 metres relay occasion – though she had not skilled for such a race – after some group members have been discovered to be ineligible to compete as a result of that they had not undergone adequate doping exams.

She mentioned she was then barred from competing within the 200 metres occasion scheduled to happen on Monday and withdrawn from the video games altogether by her group’s officers.

Tsimanouskaya claims she was later taken to Tokyo’s Haneda airport however she refused to board the aircraft and sought the safety of Japanese police.

The Belarusian Olympic Committee mentioned coaches had determined to withdraw Tsimanouskaya from the Video games on medical doctors’ recommendation about her “emotional, psychological state”.

Tsimanouskaya reacts after competing in Warmth 6 at Tokyo 2020 [Aleksandra Szmigiel/Reuters]

The place is Tsimanouskaya now?

Poland granted her a humanitarian visa on Monday and she or he is at the moment residing within the Polish embassy in Tokyo.

She is predicted to depart Japan on Wednesday and journey to the Polish capital, Warsaw.

She is ready to be reunited there along with her husband, who fled Belarus amid this week’s developments and now reportedly plans to hunt refuge in Europe, as properly.

Polish officers, the Japanese authorities and Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) have all mentioned Tsimanouskaya is “secure” within the embassy constructing.

What has the response been?

Tsimanouskaya’s case has attracted worldwide consideration, sparking outrage from capitals crucial of President Lukashenko’s authorities and a media frenzy.

The athlete herself has known as for an intensive investigation into her withdrawal from the Tokyo Video games and for potential sanctions in opposition to those that she claims “disadvantaged” her of the “proper to compete”.

She stopped in need of calling for motion in opposition to the broader group, nevertheless, stating that Belarus’s athletes “aren’t responsible of something and … ought to preserve competing”.

Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya enters the Polish embassy in Tokyo, Japan on Monday [Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters]

Tsimanouskaya’s remarks got here because the IOC introduced it had launched a proper investigation into her case and mentioned it anticipated a report afterward Tuesday from the Belarusian group.

Belarus’ Nationwide Olympic Committee instructed a state-run information company that it was carefully monitoring the state of affairs and cooperating with the IOC.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday accused Belarus of an “act of transnational repression” over the alleged try and power her house.

“Such actions violate the Olympic spirit, are an affront to primary rights, and can’t be tolerated,” he tweeted.

Poland denounced what it branded a “felony try” to kidnap the athlete.

German International Minister Heiko Maas mentioned the “tried kidnapping” of Tsimanouskaya highlighted “the rulers in Minsk … scorn their very own athletes and with this, additionally the Olympic rules.”

“Sportsmanship and solidarity are stronger than the violence which Lukashenko makes use of to cling to energy,” Maas mentioned.

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