Every month in our column "The Surprise Guest" we introduce a public figure whose work and commitment are seen by others as a source of inspiration. In particular their courage, strength of character and determination to take action are exemplary.

EESC Info's guest this month is Hanna Liubakova, a Belarusian activist and journalist who is speaking out firmly to say that, now more than ever, the Belarusian opposition needs Europe. She is appealing to the European Union and other donors to support the opposition's actions and, in particular, to support journalists and NGOs in their struggle for freedom and democracy.

She wants her voice to be heard, especially when she asks for help in creating a culture of opposition and respectful debate, and in strengthening the transformation process.

Hanna Liubakova is a journalist from Belarus and non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council. She works as a journalism trainer and mentor. She started her career at the only independent Belarusian TV channel, Belsat, where she worked as a correspondent and TV presenter. She has reported from various countries and regions, including Belgium, the UK, Poland, France, and Chechnya. She was a recipient of the Václav Havel Journalism Fellowship at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Czechia, and of a World Press Institute Fellowship in the United States. Hanna Liubakova earned a degree in Art History from The Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, in 2010 and a Master of Arts with distinction in International Journalism from Brunel University in London in 2017. She was awarded the Peter Caws Prize for best postgraduate dissertation. (ehp)