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Belarusian opposition politics said she would be deported ‘alive or in pieces’

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  • Belarusian presidential election 2020

Maria Kolesnikova

copyright of the imageReuters

image captionKolesnikova is currently incarcerated in the capital

A jailed Belarusian opposition leader said she feared for her life when security officers threw a bag over her head during an expulsion attempt.

Through her lawyer, Maria Kolesnikova said she was forced into a van and told her that if she did not leave voluntarily she would be removed “alive or in pieces”.

He is now seeking criminal proceedings against Belarusian security forces, including the KGB, his lawyer said.

Mass unrest has gripped Belarus since last month’s disputed polls.

  • What is happening in Belarus?

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  • Because Poland supports the opposition in Belarus

Ms Kolesnikova is one of three women who joined forces to challenge President Alexander Lukashenko in the August elections. She is the last of three women to remain in Belarus after resisting attempts to forcibly deport her to Ukraine earlier this week.

The main opposition leader, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, says she has won 60-70% of the elections in the places where the votes were correctly counted. She fled to Lithuania after being detained in August.

What did Kolesnikova say?

In a statement filed by her lawyer, she said she was forced into the van by masked men on Monday in the capital, Minsk.

“It was claimed that if I did not voluntarily leave the Republic of Belarus, I would be taken away anyway, alive or in pieces. There were also threats to imprison me for up to 25 years.”

Ms. Kolesnikova was taken to the Ukrainian border with two other people, but prevented officials from forcibly deporting her by tearing her passport and throwing it out of a car window, those who traveled with her said.
multimedia captionIvan Kravtsov says Ms. Kolesnikova tore her passport into pieces and then climbed through the car window

His lawyer said his client was in a “good mood”.

What’s the latest from Lukashenko?

During the inauguration of a new chief prosecutor on Thursday, the president maintained his legitimacy as a leader.

copyright of the imageGetty Images
image captionThe women were arrested during a march in support of Maria Kolesnikova and other opposition leaders

“People often scold me,” He won’t give up power. “They are right to scold me. People didn’t elect me for that,” he said.

“Power is not given to be taken, thrown and given away.”

multimedia captionWhat is behind the protests in Belarus?

The president, in power since 1994, said that Belarus could not return to the instability of the years following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Meanwhile, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has offered Ms Tikhanovskaya a house in the capital Warsaw.

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