Departure of a Belarusian Olympic Athlete from Japan (Statement by Press Secretary YOSHIDA Tomoyuki)
August 6, 2021
- On August 4, a Belarusian Olympic athlete Ms. Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who had sought asylum in a third country, departed from Japan and safely arrived in Poland on August 5. The Government of Japan has worked in tandem with the relevant organizations in dealing with the matter, taking into account international human rights norms and putting the utmost priority on her physical safety, her safe transfer to the destination and the protection of her basic human rights from abuse. The Government of Japan is grateful to the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for their cooperation during this process.
- The fact that Ms. Tsimanouskaya, an athlete participating in the Olympic Games, which is a festival of peace, had to face forcible return to her country against her will under pressure from the authorities of Belarus due to expression of her personal views on the competition, is wrong and unacceptable.
- It is extremely regrettable that no improvement has been seen in the situation of Belarus after the presidential election about a year ago. Japan once again strongly urges the Belarusian authorities to immediately cease arbitrary detention and forceful oppression of its citizens, and to engage in national dialogue that respects the rule of law and democracy.