MINSK, November 22. /TASS/. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has said that there are no political prisoners in his country since the country’s law has no articles to prosecute people for political reasons.
"We have no political crimes in the law, we have no political articles to prosecute people under. We don’t have them [political prisoners]. These are people who have violated Belarus’ laws," he said in an interview with the BBC aired on Monday by BelTA agency.
When asked about opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova, who is being kept in custody, Lukashenko said she is an agent of the West. "She is your agent. She violated the law. You know, I am not bringing charges and I am not a judge. There is court, there is the law. Even if it is bad, it is the law and it must be abided by," he said.
He denied that her imprisonment is revenge on his part. "I am not the kind of person who exacts revenge. I often say that I never fight against women. So, don’t be assigning it to me and don’t say a word if you don’t understand the situation here," Lukashenko said.
In September, a Minsk court sentenced Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Belarusian opposition’s Coordination Council, to 11 years in prison on charges of plotting the seizure of power by non-constitutional means during the presidential elections in August 2020. She was also found guilty of setting up and heading an extremist group and of publicly calling for the seizure of state power and for other actions geared to impair Belarus’ national security.