Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya the leader of Belarusian democratic forces is to be the recipient of the 2022 Tipperary International Peace Award.
The announcement was confirmed by Martin Quinn, Honorary Secretary of the Tipperary Peace Convention.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has played a leading role in non-violently challenging President Lukashenko and calling for fair elections.
She is presently living in exile in Lithuania while her husband is in detention in Belarus – in her absence a court in Minsk sentenced her to 15 years in prison last Monday. It is expected that Ms Tsikhanouskaya will travel to Tipperary town in May to accept the award.
Past recipients include former South African President Nelson Mandela, former President of Ireland, Professor Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese, Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzai, and former Irish President and Chair of The Elders, Mary Robinson. Ms Tsikhanouskaya spent several summers in Roscrea as part of the Children from Chernobyl programme when she was young girl.
The announcement is being made on International Women’s Day, a day that recognises the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.
There will also be a special presentation this year to the Irish Defence Forces in recognition of their service on peacekeeping missions since 1958.