Maxim Znak Biography Maxim Znak 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.
Kolesnikova’s lawyer Maxim Znak was also sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to the press service of former presidential candidate Viktor Babaryko, whose election campaign was led by Kolesnikova.
Two opposition figures who challenged #Belarus‘s discredited presidential polls have been jailed for trying to threaten national security & seize power. Protest organiser Maria Kolesnikova was jailed for 11 years, lawyer Maxim Znak received 10 years.https://t.co/LQss3TFjFH
— Kasia Madera (@BBCKasiaMadera) September 6, 2021
Kolesnikova is the only significant leader of last year’s unprecedented protests in Belarus. She was detained for a year after resisting an eviction by breaking her passport.
Lukashenko has been in power since 1994 and has defeated his opponents since protests erupted when he won competitive elections.
In a video from inside the court released by Russian media, Kolesnikova, who was handcuffed in the cage of a defendant, made a heart-shaped symbol with her hands, which she used to do during protests. .
She smiled and used her signature dark red lipstick.
“Dear viewers, we hope to see you,” said Znak, who was next to her, in the video before the sentence was read.
Kolesnikova, a 39-year-old former flutist of the country’s Philharmonic Orchestra, has become a symbol of the protest movement in Belarus.
She was arrested last September when KGB agents put a bag on her head, pushed her into a minibus and took her to the Ukrainian border.
She resisted attempts to drive her out of the country by jumping out of the car.
Kolesnikova was part of a women’s trio with opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and another campaignmate, Veronika Tsepkalo, who led the rallies against the Belarusian mustache leader last summer.
Tikhanovskaya, who ran for president in place of her imprisoned husband, and Tsepkalo fled Belarus to EU countries.
Tikhanovskaya says she was the real winner of the presidential election in August.