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Belarusian opposition member Kolesnikova arrested in Minsk

Maria Kolesnikova has been placed in a pre-trial detention center in Minsk
Maria Kolesnikova AP Photo/Sergei Grits
Maria Kolesnikova
© AP Photo/Sergei Grits

MINSK, September 9. /TASS/. A member of the Belarusian opposition’s Coordination Council Maria Kolesnikova has been arrested and placed in a pre-trial detention center in Minsk.

"The head of the investigative group of the Investigative Committee’s main investigation department Vasilyuk called me and informed that she had been arrested," Maria’s father Alexander Kolesnikov said on Wednesday, according to portal.

Meanwhile, the Belarusian State Border Committee noted that information on Kolesnikova’s whereabouts and a legal assessment of her actions would be provided later.

On Tuesday, Belarus-1 state TV channel reported on its Telegram channel that Kolesnikova had been detained while trying to illegally cross the border with Ukraine. According to the Belarusian State Border Committee, she was going through border control together with the Council’s spokesman Anton Rodnenkov and executive secretary Ivan Kravtsov. The two men passed the control and later headed to Kiev, where they established contact.

The representatives of former presidential hopeful Viktor Babariko announced that Kolesnikova had been allegedly in the Mozyr border guard detachment and was later taken to Minsk.

The presidential election in Belarus was held on August 9. According to the Central Election Commission, incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko secured 80.10% of the vote. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was considered as his key rival, came in second with 10.12% of the vote. She refused to recognize the election results and fled to Lithuania. Shortly after the exit poll results were announced, mass protests broke out in the country, which morphed into clashes with law enforcement officers in the first days. The authorities demand the end of illegal rallies, while the Coordination Council set up by the opposition calls to continue protests.