From Olympic medalists to head coaches: Belarusian athletes sign letter condemning rigged polls

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 30, 2020, 05:53 PM(IST)

A grim situation in Belarus Photograph:( WION )

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The letter also demanded an end to police violence and the release of all political prisoners.

Sporting icons in Belarus have signed an open letter condemning vote-rigging in polls claimed by President Alexander Lukashenko. These icons called for fresh elections. 

Also read: Women march through Belarusian capital calling for Lukashenko to step down

According to the letter published on Tribuna.com, a sports website, athletes including Olympic medallists and members of national teams were among the 363 to sign to condemn rigged polls. 

The letter declared the August 9 presidential election in Belarus, that was won by Lukashenko, invalid due to vote-rigging. It called for fresh elections as per international standards. 

The letter also demanded an end to police violence and the release of all political prisoners.

It also said that the signatories would show solidarity if any faced reprisals "right up to possible refusal to compete for the national team."

Country's Olympic medallists signed, including gold-winning freestyle skier Anna Guskova, two-time silver-medallist swimmer Aleksandra Herasimenya and silver-winning rhythmic gymnast Anna Glazkova.

Dynamo Minsk's footballer Igor Shitov also signed. The head coach of the national freestyle skiing team Nikolai Kozeko as well as members of current and former national teams in sports including volleyball, pentathlon and swimming.

Commentators noted the absence of top stars including four-times Olympic biathlon champion Darya Domracheva, who has condemned violence in a message on Instagram, as well as competitors in Lukashenko's favourite sport: ice hockey.

(Inputs from AFP)

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