The main opposition challenger in Belarus’ disputed presidential election will address an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday.
Belarus has been rocked by three weeks of protests after president Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, won a landslide victory in the August 9 election. The vote was denounced by EU officials, and forced Lukashenko to look to Moscow for support.
The opposition says that Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and wants new elections. Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the vote, won only about 10% to Lukashenko’s 80%, according to the election committee.
Estonia’s UN ambassador, Sven Jurgenson, said Tuesday that Tsikhanouskaya will speak to the UN’s most powerful body at a meeting focusing on attacks on human rights in Belarus.
Authorities in Belarus have been jailing activists over the weekend. The EU and the United States urged Belarusian authorities to begin a dialogue with the opposition.
Jurgenson said the Security Council has stated that severe human rights violations are an early warning of conflicts with international implications and that “repression could amount to threats to international peace and security”.
On Monday, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania blacklisted Lukashenko and 29 other high-ranking officials for alleged election fraud and a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.