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Belarus opposition leader nominated for Nobel Peace Prize: report

Belarus opposition leader nominated for Nobel Peace Prize: report
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Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda for her courage to fight for free elections in her country, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters

One source said that the nomination from the Lithuanian president shows Nauseda’s support for the people fighting for free elections and democracy in Belarus. 

The nomination comes after Tsikhanouskaya was forced to flee her country and live in Lithuania after her presidential bid in Belarus. She was inspired to run for office after her husband was arrested before the elections for speaking out against Belarus’s president. 

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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko declared victory over Tsikhanouskaya back in August, triggering mass protests throughout the country. During the upheaval, more than 30,000 demonstrators were detained, and many of the opposition leaders were forced to flee into exile. 

Many in the international community have said that the election falsely awarded Lukashenko victory, and opponents have stated that the vote was rigged and demanded that he step down. 

Tsikhanouskaya continues to call for Lukashenko to step down and release the protesters who were rounded up. The opposition leader has also called on the United States and European Union to support the Democratic movement in her country. 

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE's administration in December imposed fresh sanctions on the country over the election and human rights abuses. 

“The United States continues to support international efforts to independently investigate electoral irregularities in Belarus, the human rights abuses surrounding the election, and the crackdown that has followed,” former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the time. “We stand with the brave people of Belarus and support their right to free and fair elections.”

Many people are allowed to nominate others for the Nobel Peace Prize, and they must do so by the end of January. The Black Lives Matter movement has also been nominated for the prize.