Belarusian oppositionist awarded at Economic Forum in southern Poland

The award was granted by the Programme Council of the Forum, and presented by Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who emphasised that Tikhanovskaya is "a great symbol of the fight for the values dearest to us Poles - for dignity, freedom, human rights, and democracy." Maciej Kulczyński/PAP

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, Belarusian opposition leader and presidential runner in August's national elections, was awarded a special distinction at the 10th Economic Forum in Karpacz, southern Poland.

The award was granted by the Programme Council of the Forum, and presented by Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau, who emphasised that Tikhanovskaya is "a great symbol of the fight for the values dearest to us Poles - for dignity, freedom, human rights, and democracy."

Tikhanovskaya is a teacher, human rights activist and wife of the activist and popular video blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky. She entered politics as if by accident, when her husband was not allowed to vote. Unexpectedly for herself, for experts and apparently also for the Belarusian authorities, she became the main rival of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.