Inside Story

Is political repression worsening in Belarus?

Belarusian Olympic athlete asks Poland for protection, while activist is found hanged in Ukraine.

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya went to the Tokyo Olympics with dreams of representing Belarus at the world’s biggest sporting event.

But the dramatic end to her campaign has triggered a political and diplomatic dispute.

The sprinter says Belarusian officials tried to force her to fly home when she complained about being entered into a race she had not prepared for.

She found refuge at the Polish embassy in Tokyo and was given a humanitarian visa.

As Tsimanouskaya’s case unfolded, a Belarusian activist in Ukraine was found hanged in a park.

Vitaly Shishov’s death has triggered a murder investigation.

So what do these two incidents say about human rights in Belarus?

Presenter: Hazem Sika


Anatol Kotau – International relations manager, Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation

Karel Lannoo – Chief executive, Centre for European Policy Studies

Valery Tsepkalo – Belarusian opposition leader and former presidential candidate