Wednesday 10/20/21

Danish parliament committee meets fake Belarusian opposition leader

During the 40-minute session it soon became apparent something was wrong.
30 July 2020, Belarus, Minsk: Presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya attends a campaign rally ahead of The presidential election in Belarus which is scheduled on 09 August 2020. Photo: Celestino Arce Lavin/dpa.
Presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Photo: Celestino Arce Lavin/dpa/file photo.

The Danish Parliament said on Thursday a probe has been launched after one of its committees was subjected to a stunt by someone who impersonated a Belarusian opposition leader.

The Foreign Policy Committee had invited Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who came second in Belarus' recent disputed presidential election, for an online meeting earlier this week.

During the meeting, Danish lawmakers had intended to discuss how the people of Belarus could be supported in their struggle for democracy and human rights.

When the videoconference started, it was however not possible to see any video images of the person who claimed to be Tikhanovskaya.

During the 40-minute session it soon became apparent something was wrong, and the committee's leaders opted to end it, the statement read.

"Nothing sensitive" discussed

Contacts with Tikhanovskaya's staff subsequently established that another person had impersonated her.   

The parliament statement said that nothing sensitive regarding Denmark's stance on Belarus had been discussed during the meeting.

"I hope that it was just a prank, but of course I am worried about whether participation in meetings will be abused," said Martin Lidegaard, committee chairman.

The government consults with the Foreign Policy Committee, which deals with a range of security and defence policy issues.