France is deeply concerned about the health and detention conditions of Ms Maria Kalesnikava, winner of the 2020 Sakharov Prize and 2021 Václav Havel Prize, who was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in Belarus on 6 September 2021. Maria Kalesnikava must receive appropriate medical care and continue to be defended by her lawyers.
France asks the Belarusian authorities to release unconditionally and immediately all those arbitrarily detained in Belarus, and condemns the Belarusian authorities' continued crackdown on its people.
France stands alongside human rights defenders worldwide, particularly through the Marianne Initiative. So the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs met the laureates of the programme's 2022 cohort today, including Tatsiana Khomich, sister of Maria Kalesnikava, to whom she reiterated France's full support.