NewsWorldBelarusian opposition leader Kalesnikova sentenced to 11 years -...

Belarusian opposition leader Kalesnikova sentenced to 11 years – Svet –


The representative of the Belarusian opposition, Maria Kalesnikova, was sentenced on Monday to 11 years in prison. The AFP agency informed about it.

06.09.2021 11:41, updated: 15:15


In an archival image from August 30, 2020, the leading representative of the Belarusian opposition, Maria Kalesnikav, during a rally in Minsk.

Kalesnikava, along with her lawyer Maxim Znak, was charged with conspiracy to seize power and incite media and Internet activities that threatened national security. Maxim Znak received a ten-year sentence.

The verdict was informed by the press office of the unsuccessful presidential candidate Viktar Babaryk, for whom Kalesnikavová took care of the campaign last year.

Maryja Kalesnikava was arrested last September on September 7 in Minsk by masked men who took her to the border with Ukraine, where she was ordered to cross the border. However, she refused to do so and instead tore her passport. They then took her back to Minsk and imprisoned her.

Maxim Znak was also arrested in September 2020. He had previously been accused of calling on the public to act to undermine the country’s security, Belarus’ territorial integrity, national security and defense.

According to the AFP, Kalesnikava is the only one of the leading representatives of the Belarusian opposition, which is still in Belarus. He has been in custody for a year. According to the DPA, the German federal government has repeatedly called for her release.

According to Germany, this is an unjustified verdict

The German government has condemned the verdict of the Belarusian court, which sentenced Kalesnikova and Znakov to long prison terms. The AFP agency informed about it. “The German government condemns the unjustified verdict on Maryja Kalesnikav and Maxim Znak and (at the same time condemns) the instrumentalization of justice for political repression in Belarus,” Andrea Sasse, a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters.

German diplomacy described the verdict as “a reckless continuation of repression and intimidation by the Belarusian regime against opposition politicians and civil society.” Berlin also called for the release of all political prisoners in Belarus. Germany continues to plan to put political pressure on the regime in Minsk and “continue to actively support civil society there”.

The ruling was condemned by both the EU and Britain

The European Union and the United Kingdom verbally condemned the court’s verdict against representatives of the Belarusian opposition on Monday, the AFP agency reported. The EU called Monday’s decision a blatant violation of human rights, calling for the immediate and unconditional release of those sentenced.

The United Kingdom called the verdict of the Belarusian court “an attack on the defenders of democracy and freedom.” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the regime of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko “must stop the repression” and release all those detained for political reasons.

Mass protests erupted in Belarus last year after the results of the August presidential election were announced, in which Lukashenko won more than 80 percent of the vote according to official results, while the most prominent opposition leader Sviatlana Cichanovska was supported by ten percent of voters. However, according to the Belarusian opposition and Western countries, these elections were rigged. Cichanovska managed to leave Belarus after the elections. Many other opposition figures were forced to leave the country or were imprisoned. The Belarusian authorities also detained thousands of protesters and allegedly mistreated and tortured many in custody.

Western countries have imposed a series of sanctions on President Lukashenko’s regime. However, the AFP agency reminded that Lukashenko does not plan to resign due to support from the Russian Federation.

Belarus / Minsk / Lukashenko / Read also Lukashenko’s regime is prosecuting the opposition: Kalesnikova faces up to five years in prison


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