Tokyo, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)–Japan urged Belarus on Friday to stop the repression of its citizens.
The statement by Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Tomoyuki Yoshida came in response to Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a Belarusian runner in the Tokyo Olympics, arriving in Poland on a humanitarian visa after refusing an order by the authorities of her country to return home.
Tsimanouskaya was dropped from the national team after criticizing coaches for having tried to force her to run in an unscheduled event at the Games and got the order.
“It’s unjust and unacceptable to force athletes to return home against their will due to their expression of opinions on their sports,” Yoshida said.
He then demanded that Belarus “immediately stop arbitrary detentions and the repression of its citizens and work on talking with its people.
Yoshida revealed that Japan put priority on preventing Tsimanouskaya’s basic human rights from being violated and ensuring safe travel to her destination, and thanked the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Games organizing committee for their cooperation.