The Scotsman

Masked men seize Be­larus op­po­si­tion

- By YURAS KARMANAU European Politics · Politics · Elections · Belarus · Alexander Lukashenko · Minsk · Latin America Politics

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK