Anatol Lyabedzka meets with Andrey Sannikaw in Vilnius


Anatol Lyabedzka, chairman of the opposition United Civic Party (UCP), met Monday in Vilnius with Andrey Sannikaw, a former presidential candidate who leads an organization called European Belarus.

As Mr. Lyabedzka told BelaPAN, they discussed the current situation in Belarus and possible developments.

The UCP is in permanent contact with all pro-democracy forces in the country, including European Belarus, Mr. Lyabedzka noted. “Our views on certain matters are very close,” he added.

Mr. Lyabedzka confirmed that a meeting of representatives of seven opposition Belarusian organizations took place in Vilnius on June 10, but he declined to disclose the details of the meeting.

According to him, participating in the meeting were leaders of the UCP, the “Spravedlivy Mir” (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left, the Hramada Belarusian Social Democratic Party, the Belarusian Popular Front, the Movement for Freedom, Belarusian Christian Democracy, and the “Tell the Truth!” movement.

In May 2011, Mr. Sannikaw, a former deputy foreign minister who ran in Belarus’ 2010 presidential election, was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with a post-election protest staged in Minsk on the night of December 19, 2010.

According to Mr. Sannikaw, in November 2011, following weeks of torture and threats, he wrote an appeal to Alyaksandr Lukashenka for a presidential pardon.

Mr. Sannikaw was released from prison on April 14, 2012 and fled Belarus a few months later. After being granted political asylum in Britain, he explained that he had left his home country because of the threat of being rearrested. // BelaPAN