Belarus charges protest leader for undermining national security

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The opposition says that Lukashenko’s main challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and wants new elections. Belarus has been rocked by five weeks of protests after president Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the country since 1994, won a landslide victory in the August 9 election. It will remain the main instrument for dialogue between the Belarusian people and the so-called government”, Tikhanovskaya said. The committee said that Kolesnikova was charged with calling for “actions aimed at undermining Belarusian national security” using the media and the internet. However, it will not be lost. Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the vote, won only about 10% to Lukashenko’s 80%, according to the election committee. Kolesnikova, a presidium member of the opposition Coordination Council, was arrested last week after Belarusian authorities failed to forcibly expel her to neighboring Ukraine. Belarus investigators have officially charged protest leader Maria Kolesnikova with incitement to undermine national security, the Investigative Committee said on Wednesday. Another leader of the council, Maksim Znak, was arrested in the body’s Minsk headquarters. The government has denied the claims. The vote was denounced by EU officials, and forced Lukashenko to look to Moscow for support. Human rights activists have repeatedly accused Belarusian riot police of brutally suppressing peaceful marches in the country. She is currently in jail in Minsk after ripping up her own passport last week to thwart an attempt to expel her to Ukraine. “Yes, the Coordination Council has been beheaded.

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According to media reports citing eyewitnesses and fellow campaign members, Kolesnikova has been detained by unidentified persons in Minsk on 07 September. EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH

Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (L) raises her fist next to Maria Kolesnikova (R), a representative of non-registered presidential candidate Victor Babariko, during a campaign rally in Minsk, Belarus, 19 July 2020 (reissued 07 September 2020). EPA-EFE/TATYANA ZENKOVICH style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Belarus charges protest leader for undermining national security

By Elena Pavlovska
Journalist

epa08652182 (FILE) – Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya (L) raises her fist next to Maria Kolesnikova (R), a representative of non-registered presidential candidate Victor Babariko, during a campaign rally in Minsk, Belarus, 19 July 2020 (reissued 07 September 2020). According to media reports citing eyewitnesses and fellow campaign members, Kolesnikova has been detained by unidentified persons in Minsk on 07 September.

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