NewsSociety

Belarus: Maria Kolesnikova Faced Danger to Life from Security Forces

Maraya Kolesnikova Bilorus

Belarusian security forces threatened Maria Kolesnikova, an opposition leader and a member of the coordinating council in Belarus, with physical violence and murder, demanding that she leave Belarus voluntarily. The former candidate for the presidency of Belarus Viktor Babaryka wrote about this on Facebook.

He noted, “The lawyer met with Maria Kolesnikova. Ludmila Kazak told some details of the meeting. Maria feels well and cheerful, despite the stress of the last two days. She has six neighbours in the cell. Maria was given aid in the pre-trial detention centre. Her blood pressure rose and heartache ailed her. There are blows on her body, her hands hurt because she was pushed into the car by force and held. The lawyer intends to apply to the investigator for a forensic examination.”

On 7 September, after detention near the National Art Museum, Maria was taken to the chief anti-crime and anti-corruption department, where she spent almost half-day. Then, she was brought to the KGB, where she was required to agree to leave the Republic of Belarus voluntarily until the late evening. After she refused, she was deported forcibly to the Belarusian-Ukrainian border.

Lyudmyla Kazak drew attention to the fact that Maria Kolesnikova did not have documents on her during detention. She was handed only an order of the pre-trial detention as a preventive measure, sanctioned by the Prosecutor General’s Office on 8 September, which did not specify by whom, when and where she was detained.

Maria Kolesnikova considers the events of the last days and her abduction a severe criminal offence. Together with the lawyer, she intends to appeal to establish all persons who are guilty of her kidnapping and forcible removal to the border.

Maria also faced threats of physical violence from Belarusian security forces. The oppositionist intends to file applications for death threats.

To recap, on 7 September Kolesnikova was kidnapped. The next day, the attempts to expel her from the country took place, but she ripped up her passport and threw away the pieces to stop her deportation on the border with Ukraine. Maria was detained and suspected in a criminal case of calls to seize power.

Natalia Tolub

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