Three leaders of the Belarusian opposition - Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Maria Kolesnikova and Veranika Tsepkalo – have been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, said Geir Toskedal, a MP of the Norwegian Christian Democratic Party, in an interview with the newspaper Vårt Land.
According to him, he nominated Tikhanovskaya, Kolesnikova and Tsepkalo "for their struggle for fair elections and for inspiring the peaceful opposition against the illegitimate regime in Belarus."
"Opposition politicians in Belarus have fantastic courage. They are organizing peaceful demonstrations despite the fact that the authorities are using increasing violence against them," the Norwegian MP said. He expressed hope that the nomination for the Nobel Prize will attract "even more attention to the peaceful struggle that is being waged against the last dictator of Europe" and to all those who fight for a "free and democratic Belarus".
Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was expelled from the country after voting in the presidential elections on August 9. She was granted asylum in Lithuania, and she was put on the wanted list in Minsk and Moscow. Veranika Tsepkalo was forced to leave the country immediately after the elections following her husband, former presidential candidate Valery Tsepkalo. Maria Kolesnikova was forcibly taken to Poland, but she managed to escape and stay in Belarus. She is under arrest.
The Belarusian opposition is included in the shortlist of the European Parliament's Prize for Freedom of Thought named after Andrei Sakharov for 2020.