The opposition Maria Kolesnikova calls from prison to maintain the protests in Belarus

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The leader asks her colleagues not to abandon the fight in a letter in which she assures that her kidnappers are weak and do not know how to do their job well.

Maria Kolesnikova, the Belarusian opposition leader imprisoned in the city of Zhódino, has appealed to her colleagues not to give up the fight, and has given some details of her life in prison in a letter addressed to her father. “Tell them without fail not to give up, just go ahead!”, Writes Kolesnikova, who on 7 September was taken to the border with Ukraine by several hooded men who in Minsk forced her into a van. But the operation to force her to leave the country was thwarted by Kolésnikova herself by breaking her passport and thus not being able to be expelled.

Shortly afterwards, through her lawyer, Kolesnikova reported that she had been brought to the border in the middle of the night by security agents, who had threatened to expose her “alive or in pieces” from Belarus. The courage that she showed in these circumstances has made her a true heroine for those who, despite the repressions, continue to demonstrate every week against the regime of Alexandr Lukashenko and demand new elections.

“Those who kidnapped me are incredibly weak and hysterical people. They are not even able to do their job well! ”Kolesnikova continues in the letter that took a week and a half to get from Zhodino to Minsk.

Since then Kolesnikova has been imprisoned, first in Minsk, and since last December 12, in Zhódino, a city located 50 kilometers northeast of the capital. Last week, the Belarusian Investigations Committee presented the official accusation against the opposition leader based on article 361.3 of the Penal Code -call for actions that seek to damage national security, made through the press and the Internet-, a crime that it contemplates prison sentences of between two and five years.

Kolesnikova reassures her family members that she is fine and that “conditions are bearable and the new friends are magnificent.” The envelope of the letter whose content was revealed by the Belarusian news portal, was adorned with red and white hearts, the colors of the Belarusian flag that opponents use as their emblem.

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Lukashenko responded on Thursday to the criticism that has been made of him for the improvised inauguration ceremony on Wednesday. “Some 2,000 people, including the military, were invited, which is practically impossible to keep secret,” he said.

“They yell that they don’t recognize us. But we have not asked anyone to recognize our elections or the legitimacy of the president-elect. The main thing is that this [los comicios y la investidura] correspond to what the Constitution of our country indicates, ”Lukashenko said, quoted by the government agency.


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