Opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova, arrested in Belarus, was charged with “endangering national security” on Wednesday. You will remain in police custody until further notice, said the Belarusian investigative authority. The 38-year-old has been in custody for more than a week, despite international protests.
Kolesnikova is a leading figure in the opposition and the last remaining in Belarus of the three women who shaped the election campaign against the authoritarian ruling head of state Alexander Lukashenko. Kolesnikova played a key role in the large-scale demonstrations against the president. During demonstrations for her release, there have been numerous arrests in recent days.
According to the opposition, Kolesnikova was kidnapped by strangers in Minsk last week. According to eyewitnesses, the 38-year-old was taken to the border to be deported to Ukraine against her will. When she resisted, she was arrested.
Most recently, Kolesnikova announced that he would sue representatives of the security authorities in Belarus for kidnapping and death threats.
Lukashenko has been confronted with mass protests since the controversial presidential election on August 9th. Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians regularly take to the streets against the president, who has ruled with an iron hand for 26 years, accusing him of election fraud and calling for new elections. Many people take part in the protests, especially on Sundays. (AFP)