EU member Lithuania publicly rebuffed a request from Belarus to extradite opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who fled to the country after a harsh government crackdown followed disputed elections last summer. This is reported by DW.
The Belarus General Prosecutor's Office said it had requested that Lithuania extradite Tsikhanouskaya, "to face prosecution for crimes against the governing order, public safety and the state."
Prosecutors accuse her and associates of conspiring to incite riots and occupy government buildings in Gomel, the country's second largest city. Tsikhanouskaya flatly dismissed the accusations.
Vilnius' response to the request was blunt: "We can tell the Belarusian regime that we would rather watch hell freeze over than think about their demands," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in a statement.
"Lithuania was and is a wall behind which all democratic forces persecuted by regimes may seek refuge," he added.