Belarus prices protest chief for undermining nationwide safety

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Belarus investigators have formally charged protest chief Maria Kolesnikova with incitement to undermine nationwide safety, the Investigative Committee mentioned on Wednesday.

Kolesnikova, a presidium member of the opposition Coordination Council, was arrested final week after Belarusian authorities didn’t forcibly expel her to neighboring Ukraine. Another chief of the council, Maksim Znak, was arrested within the physique’s Minsk headquarters.

Belarus has been rocked by 5 weeks of protests after president Alexander Lukashenko, who has led the nation since 1994, gained a landslide victory within the August 9 election. The vote was denounced by EU officers, and compelled Lukashenko to look to Moscow for assist.

The opposition says that Lukashenko’s fundamental challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, was the rightful winner and desires new elections. Tikhanovskaya, who fled to Lithuania after the vote, gained solely about 10% to Lukashenko’s 80%, in line with the election committee.

The committee mentioned that Kolesnikova was charged with calling for “actions aimed at undermining Belarusian national security” utilizing the media and the web. She is at the moment in jail in Minsk after ripping up her personal passport final week to thwart an try and expel her to Ukraine.

“Yes, the Coordination Council has been beheaded. However, it will not be lost. It will remain the main instrument for dialogue between the Belarusian people and the so-called government”, Tikhanovskaya mentioned.

Human rights activists have repeatedly accused Belarusian riot police of brutally suppressing peaceable marches within the nation. The authorities has denied the claims.