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Opposition members in Belarus: Imprisoned activist Kolesnikova in intensive care

Oppositionists in Belarus
Detained activist Kolesnikova in intensive care

She is one of the faces of the opposition in Belarus and has been in prison there for more than two years – among other things for “conspiracy to seize power”. Now she is admitted to an intensive care unit in Gomel.

The government critic Maria Kolesnikova, who has been arrested in Belarus, has been taken to a hospital in the city of Gomel and is in intensive care. This was announced by the press service of the opposition leader Viktor Babaryko, who was also imprisoned and for whom Kolesnikova had worked. Kolesnikova is one of the most well-known faces of the opposition in Belarus.

As the opposition news portal “Zerkalo” reports, citing unspecified sources, Kolesnikova had stomach problems. Kolesnikova was hospitalized with surgical pathology and operated on Monday, Babaryko’s press service wrote on Telegram. Her condition is serious but stable. “She’s scheduled to be transferred to the surgical department tomorrow.”

Kolesnikova was arrested in September 2020 and sentenced to eleven years in prison a year later. She was accused, among other things, of “conspiracy to seize power”. She led the mass protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in 2020 alongside opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaya and activist Veronika Zepkalo. As one of the few leading Belarusian opposition figures, she decided against fleeing into exile.

Like the Russian-language Internet newspaper “Insider” reported, Kolesnikova was placed in a punishment cell where her lawyer was not allowed to see her. She was accused of being in the wrong place during working hours. She was also reprimanded for treating the staff at Penal Colony 4 rudely.

Tichanovskaya wrote on Telegram about “bad news”. “Our dear Masha, we all hope that you will feel better soon,” she wrote, using the pet form of the name Maria.

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