Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya at the Davos Forum commented on her trial in absentia

“Today begins the “trial in absentia” that the regime started against me. I am accused of every conceivable crime under 10 articles. I can’t take this farce seriously, but I am not going to ignore the violation of rights.

My team and I didn't know much about the trial. I learned about the trial from the media, not from an official notification. I was denied the right to take part in the proceedings and receive copies of the charges and protocols. I was not informed of who my court-appointed “defense attorney” is until last Friday. By notifying me just before the weekend, they just didn't leave me any opportunity to discuss defense strategy with my lawyer. “Justice” as it is.

But that's not all. The appointed lawyer, despite my attempts to contact him, has not responded. How is he going to defend me? I'm sure it isn’t part of his plan.

Here is what I want to say to everyone involved in this process, from the paymasters to the judges, prosecutors, investigators, and that very defender: I know that by doing this you are trying to intimidate and discredit me. But you only provide direct evidence of your crimes against the people of Belarus.

Over the past two years, I, like all Belarusians, have gone through a great change. We look fear and fatigue in the eyes every day – and do not stop working for Belarus' future. Three years ago, I couldn’t think I would ever be prosecuted in absentia. But I also couldn’t think that I would have the honor to represent our country and the future of its economy for the first time in 30 years at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

This future will come, and its inevitability frightens you. Belarus will be a free, independent, peaceful and successful country. And your fear of this future, as the accomplices of these kangaroo courts – will not make me or Belarusians stop on the way to our dream”. 

17 January 2023 в 09:53