Maria Kolesnikova Biography Maria Kolesnikova Wiki
A Minsk court has found opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova guilty of attempted takeover and extremism. Kolesnikova, who withdrew her passport to avoid deportation, faces eleven years in prison.
A guilty verdict has been handed down in the case of Belarusian activist Maria Kolesnikova. The activist has been accused by the Belarusian authorities of taking power and extremism.
❗️The sentences for Maksim Znak and Maria Kolesnikova are 10 and 11 years of imprisonment
It was the only open part of the closed trial. The state prosecutors asked for 12 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/o8McF1Nuu1
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 6, 2021
Kolesnikova is a member of the Opposition Coordination Council and was arrested in September. He now faces an eleven-year prison sentence.
Since President Alexander Lukashenko’s controversial election victory almost exactly a year ago on August 9, 2020, Kolesnikova has been a key opposition figure in large-scale protests.
The 39-year-old was a musician and had worked on cultural projects. He spent several years in Stuttgart, Germany.
Then he joined the electoral campaign of the former banker Viktor Babariko. Babariko was sentenced to 14 years in prison in July when the Lukashenko regime took action against opposition activists following the controversial vote.
Belarusian authorities attempted to expel Kolesnikova in September 2020. The country’s security services took her to the border with Ukraine to be forcibly expelled from the country. Kolesnikova tore up her passport and returned to Belarus, where she was arrested.
When his trial began last week, he danced and smiled in constant contempt against the Lukashenko regime.
Thousands of political opponents have been arrested, many have fled the country and are now in exile.
In one of those cases, Belarusian Olympic sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya refused to leave Tokyo after being ordered to return home by coaching staff. The athlete said he would be in danger if he returned.
She is currently living in exile in Poland after the country granted her a humanitarian visa.
Authorities have targeted journalists and democracy activists and carried out hundreds of raids in recent weeks.
Belarus’s Baltic neighbors also accuse Minsk of deliberately pushing irregular migrants back to its borders in order to pressure the EU to reconsider sanctions against the Lukashenko regime.