Belarusian opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova, who is serving a long prison sentence, has entered intensive care. The Belarusian opposition mentions this via Telegram. Kolesnikova was reportedly taken to a hospital in the southeastern town of Gomel.
Why she was transferred to intensive care is unknown. According to the Telegram channel of imprisoned opposition member Victor Babariko, the 40-year-old politician was recently placed in a separate “punishment cell”. It is unclear why she was punished and how long this punishment will last.
last year Kolesnikova was sentenced to 11 years in prison for her participation in the 2020 mass protests against President Lukashenko’s regime.
Kolesnikova is a fierce critic of Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994. The authorities wanted to deport Kolesnikova from the country in September 2020, but she refused. At the border with Ukraine, she tore up her passport. She’s been stuck ever since.
Svetlana Tichanovskaya, a Belarusian opposition leader in exile in Lithuania, called the news “extremely worrying”. “Her lawyer can’t see her. We can’t know how she’s doing, and we have to make sure she gets proper help,” she wrote on Twitter.
Most of the Belarusian activists have fled the country, but many are also in prison. Protests against Lukashenko began after the rigged presidential elections, in which Lukashenko declared his victory. Then protests broke out across the country. Thousands of people were arrested.
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