Mrs. Tsikhanouskaya receives the award as leader of the peaceful resistance against the oppressive regime in Belarus and as prominent advocate of political and civil freedom in her country. Living in forced exile in Lithuania she continues the fight for freedom and for a better future for all Belarussians. She works tirelessly to gain international support for her cause, although this requires great personal sacrifice.

About Sviatlana’s work

Tsikhanouskaya is widely recognized as the winner of the presidential election in Belarus on August 9, 2020, against the autocratic President Aliaksandr Lukashenka. Tsikhanouskaya’s story began when she entered the race after her husband was arrested for voicing his presidential aspirations. Lukashenka publicly dismissed her as a “housewife,” saying that a woman cannot become president. Nonetheless, Tsikhanouskaya united and successfully led the democratic coalition.

Following her forced exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya inspired unprecedented peaceful protests in Belarus, with some rallies numbering at least 200,000 people. As the leader of the Belarusian democratic movement, she has visited 26 countries, gathering support and advocating for the release of more than nine hundred political prisoners and a peaceful transition of power through free and fair elections.

The Roosevelt Foundation sees in Mrs. Tsikhanouskaya a true leader of the democratic movement who gives the people of Belarus a voice and hope for a better future in which the rule of law and basic human rights are respected. In awarding the International Four Freedoms Award to Tsikhanouskaya, the Roosevelt Foundation expresses its support and appreciation to the democratic movement and to the people in Belarus who continue to fight for their fundamental freedoms. Their commitment and courage are an example for others who live under difficult circumstances in countries where human rights and democratic values are violated.

Four Freedoms Awards 2022

Subject to the then applicable Covid regulations the Four Freedoms Awards ceremony will take place on April 21 in the Abbey in Middelburg.

The Four Freedoms Medals are presented each year to men, women and organizations whose achievements have demonstrated a commitment to the principles which President Roosevelt proclaimed in his historic speech to Congress on January 6, 1941. In this speech he said that if democracy is to survive and flourish, people everywhere in the world are entitled to four human rights: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Important words that have not lost any of their value and meaning even after 81 years.

Earlier Freedoms Medals were awarded to some of the most distinguished world citizens of our time, including Harry S. Truman, H.R.H. Princess Juliana of The Netherlands, John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, J. William Fulbright, Arthur Miller, Jimmy Carter, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Malala Yousafzai, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and dr. Angela Merkel.

About the Roosevelt Foundation

The Roosevelt Foundation in Middelburg and the Roosevelt Institute in New York work to inspire people to promote these four freedoms, everywhere in the world. The Four Freedoms Awards ceremonies take place in the odd years in New York and in the even years in Middelburg.

Read more about the Four Freedoms Awards and the Roosevelt Institute is available at their websites.