Belarusian sprinter Tsimanouskaya leaves Tokyo for Vienna amid diplomatic tensions – .

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Belarusian sprinter Tsimanouskaya leaves Tokyo for Vienna amid diplomatic tensions – .


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                La sprinteuse biélorusse Krystsina Tsimanouskaya a quitté mercredi Tokyo pour l'Autriche, ajoutant une autre tournure dramatique à une saga diplomatique dans laquelle elle s'était réfugiée à l'ambassade de Pologne.
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    <p>Tsimanouskaya devait embarquer sur un vol pour Varsovie, où le gouvernement lui a offert un visa humanitaire après avoir refusé d'embarquer contre son gré dimanche et demandé la protection diplomatique.

Instead, she departed on an Austrian Airlines flight that was scheduled to land in Vienna at 4:05 p.m. (2:05 p.m. GMT). A member of the Belarusian community in contact with Tsimanouskaya said diplomats modified his flight for security reasons.

Masked and dressed in blue jeans, a blue blouse and sunglasses with the inscription “I RUN CLEAN” on them, Tsimanouskaya had arrived in a van escorted by the police to the airport of Narita, to the east of the Japanese capital. She did not speak to several dozen waiting reporters as she made her way to a VIP area, escorted by several officials rolling her suitcases, and then to her door.

The International Olympic Committee said on Tuesday it had opened a formal investigation into the case and was awaiting a report from the Belarusian team.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of intolerable “transnational repression” in this affair.

Tsimanouskaya, 24, was due to compete in the women’s 200-meter qualifying round on Monday, but said the Belarusian head coach showed up to her room in the Athletes’ Village on Sunday and told her she had to leave after criticizing team leaders.

“I will not be returning to Belarus,” she told Reuters at the time.

The incident has drawn attention to Belarus, where police cracked down on dissent following a wave of protests sparked by elections last year which the opposition said were rigged to keep Lukashenko in the power.

Belarusian authorities have branded the anti-government protesters as criminals or violent revolutionaries backed by the West, and have called the actions of their own law enforcement appropriate and necessary.

Vitaly Shishov, a Belarusian activist living in exile in Ukraine, was found hanged Tuesday morning in a park near his home in Kiev, and Ukrainian police have opened a murder investigation. He was the head of an organization that helps Belarusians fleeing persecution.

(REUTERS)

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