Maria Kolesnikova, One of the leaders of the civil protest of the opposition in Belarus, was sentenced today (Monday) to 11 years in prison, and her lawyer, Maxim Zanak, Sentenced to ten years in prison. The two were convicted of attempting to overthrow the government.
At the end of the closed.door trial, the Minsk court ruled in a public hearing that Kolesnikova and Zanak were guilty of conspiracy to commit misconduct, calls for action to harm national security and calls for actions designed to undermine state security through the formation of an extremist group. The two, members of the opposition’s coordination committee, pleaded not guilty and Kolesnikova managed to say that these were “absurd accusations.“
Kolesnikova was one of the leaders of the opposition campaign in the presidential election in August last year alongside the candidates for the post, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya andVeronica Tespeklo, Whose husband was also a candidate to run in the election and was arrested. After the dictator Alexander Lukashenko, Announcing victory following falsification of results and beginning to suppress opposition, Tikhanovskaya and Tesfklo fled abroad, while Kolesnikova remained in the country and continued protest operations. For arrest in Israel.
“We demand the immediate release of Maria and Maxim, who are not guilty of anything,” Tikhanovskaya said following the sentencing. “This is terrorism against the Belarusians who dare to stand up to the government,” she added.