Politics 11:58 02/08/2021 World

France, EU partners studying possible asylum for Belarusian athlete Timanovskaya

France and its EU partners are considering possibly granting asylum to Belarusian athlete Kristina Timanovskaya after the Belarusian coaching team decided to bring her home from the Tokyo Olympics on August 1, Secretary of State for European Affairs Clement Beaune said on Monday, according to TASS.

"We are considering whether to possibly grant her political asylum in the next few days or weeks together with several European countries," Beaune told the RFI radio station. "I think this is what Europe can do," he added.

The French diplomat believes that this situation confirms that "control, censorship, violence and dictatorship" are present in Belarus. "I welcome the fact that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) together with the Japanese authorities and police ensures safety of this athlete," he said.

Earlier, representatives of the opposition Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation claimed that Timanovskaya is being forcefully removed from Tokyo over her criticism of the Belarusian athletes coaches’ headquarters. Timanovskaya claimed her intent to ask for asylum in Europe. Besides, she took to social media to call on the International Olympic Committee to intervene in the situation and provide help. According to Timanovskaya, she was subjected to pressure and was being removed from Japan without her consent.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams also noted that Timanovskaya spent the night in a hotel. According to him, James Mcleod, IOC Director of Olympic Solidarity and NOC Relations, is leading talks with the Belarusian athlete on behalf of the organization.



Source Panorama.am
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