Belarusian athlete Chryscina Cimanouska, who claims that Minsk ordered her to be sent home from the Olympic Games for criticizing the preparations for the event, applied for political asylum in Poland, the Belarusian opposition portal Karta’97 reported on Monday, citing a representative of the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation . The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet confirmed this information.
– He’s in Tokyo now. He already communicates with the International Olympic Committee and the press. She has applied for political asylum in Poland, so she is on the right track. She is fine – said Aleksander Opejkin from the Belarusian Sports Solidarity Foundation, which supports athletes imprisoned or harassed for their political views, on TV Czas Teraźniej.
As Opejkin added, quoted by the Karta’97 portal, the 24-year-old was afraid to return to Minsk. – They tried to remove her from the Olympics not for objective and real reasons, such as her health. It was a purely administrative order – he pointed out.
As reported by the Reuters agency, citing a witness, on Monday around 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. in Poland) a 24-year-old athlete drove to the Polish embassy in Tokyo in an unmarked silver van. According to the agency, Cimanouska greeted two officials in front of the Polish facility and then went inside.
A member of the Belarusian community in Japan who had contact with Cimanouska all night from Sunday to Monday told Reuters that the 24-year-old had also filed for asylum in Japan. The Japanese government announced that the Belarusian woman is safe. “Japan is coordinating with the relevant parties and is taking the appropriate action,” said Cabinet spokesman Katsunobu Kato.
The Russian agency RIA Novisti reports that the Belarusian embassy in Tokyo has asked the Japanese authorities for information about Cimanouska.
The runner called for help. The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded
A few days ago, 24-year-old Belarusian sprinter Kryscina Cimanouska criticized her coaches for the fact that due to their negligence, three Belarusian runners were not allowed to participate in the Olympics, and that she herself was enrolled in the 4×400 m relay, although she runs 200 m.
On Sunday Cimanouska informed that her guardians were trying to force her to return to Belarus, and the order to remove her from the team and send her back to the country came from Minsk. Journalists present at the Tokyo airport on Sunday reported that Cimanouska did not board the scheduled flight to Istanbul, from where it was supposed to fly to Minsk. On Monday International Olympic Committee he said that the sprinter is “healthy and safe” and is still in the Japanese capital. She spent the night in a hotel near the airport. The IOC is investigating how the Belarusian appeared in the port.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded to the situation of the runner on Sunday. Deputy Minister Marcin Przydacz wrote on Twitter that “Poland is ready to help Kryscina Cimanouska, a Belarusian athlete whose regime of Lukashenka ordered her to return to Minsk from the Olympic Games”. He said that the player was offered a humanitarian visa. “And he can continue his sports career in Poland, if he so chooses” – he added. The Czech Republic also offered help to the Belarusian athlete.
Karta’97, tvn24.pl, Reuters
Main photo source: Reuters