Belarus opposition calls for EU support as it collects prize

BRUSSELS (AP) — Former Belarus presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya is calling on the European Union to be braver in its support for democracy protesters in her country. She made the appeal Wednesday as she picked up the EU’s top human rights award, the Sakharov Prize, on behalf of Belarus opposition leaders. Tsikhanouskaya says standing up for democracy and human rights is the “duty of each self-respecting country.” She told EU lawmakers that “your solidarity and your voice are important, but it is actions that matter.” Mass protests have gripped Belarus since authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko won a landslide victory on Aug. 9. The Belarus opposition and the EU have rejected the results, saying the vote was riddled with fraud.