The head of the human rights center Our House, Olga Karach, filed an appeal against the decision of the Migration Department of Lithuania to deny her political asylum. The appeal has been accepted by the court, and now Olga Karach and the whole team of Our House are looking forward to the trial to be appointed and to justice to be restored.

We’d like to remind that on August 18, 2023, the authorities of Lithuania denied the political asylum to Olga Karach, the head of the civil initiative Our House, having groundlessly accused her of being a “threat to the national security”. That gave an opportunity to the propagandists defending the regime of Aliaksandr Lukashenka to make spiteful remarks and insult the human rights defender.

However, the most serious issue is that now Olga is under the risk of deportation from Lithuania to Belarus, which means a death penalty for her, since the regime of Lukashenka announced Olga Karach a “terrorist” and an “extremist” for her human rights activity.

In September 2021, the KGB of Belarus put Olga Karach on its “terrorist list”, and in May 2022, the Ministry of Internal affairs announced the organization Our House to be an “extremist formation”.

According to Olga herself, a lot is written in the decision the Migration Department: specifically, the Lithuanian authorities substantiated their denial of political asylum by the fact that Olga interviewed the founder of the LDPR, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and that she participated in conferences in Russia, including those organized by the European Commission and a number of European embassies. Nevertheless, Olga immediately announced that she was planning to stay in Lithuania and to appeal the decision in court. She said: “Either you deport me to Belarus, or I stay in Lithuania”.

Now, the appeal has been filed and accepted by the court. It is good news – at least because courts in Europe are completely independent and are not politically engaged, which, as it has unfortunately turned out, cannot be said about the law enforcement agencies.