Belarusian politician Maria Kolesnikova sentenced to 11 years in prison

Minsk Regional Court sentenced Maria Kolesnikava, one of the leaders of Belarusian opposition, to 11 years of imprisonment. Lawyer Maksim Znak, who was on trial in the same case, was sentenced to ten years in jail.

Kolesnikava and Znak were accused of conspiracy to unconstitutionally seize power, establishment and leadership of an extremist group and public calls for action threatening the national security of Belarus.

The trial was held behind closed doors. The prosecutor’s office qualified his participation in the election as an attempt to seize power. The defense insisted that the charges were political and lacked legal grounds.

Bear in mind that Kolesnikava, coordinator of the election headquarters of Viktar Babarika, was one of the central figures of the mass actions against the falsified election. She was detained and tried to be deported, but she tore her passport at the border.