Belarusian opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova, sentenced last year to 11 years in prison, she was hospitalised in the hospital in the intensive care unit. The news was given by the press office of Viktor Babaryko, another political opponent who is also in prison and to whom Kolesnikova is close: “Maria has been hospitalized in intensive care in Gomel”, in the south-east of the country. Last week, in another statement, it was said that Kolesnikova had been placed in solitary confinement “under the pretext of rude behavior”. Her lawyer had been denied the right to see her.
Kolesnikova is 40 years old. In August 2020 she supported Svetlana Tikhanovskaya’s presidential candidacy and the day after the elections she was one of the main promoters of the large demonstrations organized to contest the victory of outgoing president Alexander Lukashenko, accused of fraud. After the elections, Tikhanovskaya left Belarus and took refuge in Lithuania for fear of reprisals, while Kolesnikova remained in the country.
On August 31, 2020, he announced that he would found a new opposition party together with supporters of Viktor Babariko, who had tried to run for president against Lukashenko but who had been arrested before the elections. However, on 7 September, a day after 100,000 people protested against the election results for the fourth consecutive weekend in Minsk, Kolesnikova disappeared and was not heard from again for three days.
On 10 September, her lawyer said she had met her in a Minsk detention center. In September 2021, Kolesnikova was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of plotting a coup, inciting actions that would undermine national security, and creating an extremist organization.