Conflicts & War

Belarusian opposition figure Kolesnikova detained in Minsk

Moscow, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova has been detained by an unknown group of masked men in Minsk, eye-witnesses told local media Monday.

“On the morning of September 7, next to the National Arts Museum, some unknown men bundled Kolesnikova into a minibus,” a witness told

“She was taken away to an unknown destination.”

Pavel Latushko, another Belarusian opposition figure, told Russian news agency Interfax that he had received information suggesting Kolesnikova had been detained in the center of Minsk.

Kolesnikova is a member of the opposition coordination council and one of the most prominent critics of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Most of her political allies are coordinating the opposition movement from neighboring countries, to where they fled following the contentious presidential elections of 9 August, denounced by the opposition and the European Union as fraudulent.

Kolesnikova decided to remain in Belarus after the vote.

Latushko reported that two other opposition activists had also gone missing.

“We don’t know where they are or what has happened to them. What’s clear is that officials are doing everything they can to create obstacles for leaders of the (opposition) council.”

Minsk Police said their officers had not detained Kolesnikova.

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