Masked men seize Belarus opposition
A leading opposition activist in Belarus and two other members of an opposition council went missing yesterday, raising fears they were detained as authorities seek to clamp down on nearly a month of protests against the re - election of the country’ s authoritarian leader.
Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Co-ordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with President Alexander Lukashenko on a transition of p ower, was reportedly put on a minibus in the capital Minsk and driven away. Last week, MS Kolesnikova announced the creation of a new opposition party.
Her disappearance follows a massive rally on Sunday in Minsk that drew an estimated 100,000 protesters demanding the resignation of Mr Lukashenko, who extended his 26-year rule in a 9 August election that the opposition and some poll workers say was rigged. Sunday’s demonstrations in Minsk went on despite authorities warning that participants could face reprisals.