Belarusian political prisoner Maria Kolesnikova in intensive care – opposition

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 2 Min Read
origin 1Belarusian opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova attends a court hearing in Minsk, Belarus on Wednesday, August 4, 2021. ©Ramil Nasibulin/BelTA pool photo via AP

Belarusian political prisoner Maria Kolesnikova has been admitted to an intensive care unit, according to another opposition politician’s Telegram channel.

The political activist was hospitalized for the first time yesterday in the city of Gomel and her lawyer was unable to see her, former presidential candidate Viktor Babariko said on Telegram.

Kolesnikova, who was a key figure in the opposition presidential campaign against Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko in 2020, was sentenced to 11 years in prison last year.

He previously worked with the Babariko campaign, which was barred from registering after being arrested on corruption charges.

Kolesnikova had coped allegations of damage to national security when she was detained in September 2020 after resisting an attempt by the authorities to force her into exile.

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said the news about Kolesnikova was “extremely worrying”.

“Maria Kalesnikava has been admitted to intensive care for unknown reasons,” Tsikhanouskaya tweeted.

“Her lawyer has not been allowed to see her. She was recently placed in a detention cell. We need information about her condition and we need to make sure she receives adequate help.”

Babariko said Kolesnikova’s lawyer was not allowed to see her for “the third time in a row” on Tuesday.

Together with Tsikhanouskaya and Veronika Tsepkalo, Kolesnikova was one of three women leading the movement to beat Lukashenko during the August 9, 2020 presidential election.

The elections, which Lukashenko said he won, led to a series of mass protests in the country to which the authorities responded with a violent crackdown.

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