The opposition politician from Belarus said he would be deported ‘alive or in bits’

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Image copyrightReuters

image CaptionKolesnikova is currently jailed in the capital

The jailed unbridled opposition leader said he feared his life when security officials threw a bag over his head while attempting to deport him.

Through her lawyer, Maria Kolenikova said she was taken away in a van and told that if she did not leave voluntarily she would be removed to “live or bit”.

Now she wants to register a criminal case against the Belarusian security forces, including the KGB.

Large-scale unrest has gripped Belarus since last month’s disputed turnout.

  • What is happening in Belarus?

  • ‘Breathing Freedom’ – Belarus expect change
  • Why Poland is protesting in Belarus

Ms. Kolenikova is one of three women who joined forces to challenge President Alexander Lukashenko in the August election. She is the last of three women living inside Belarus after opposing attempts to forcibly deport her to Ukraine earlier this week.

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

What has Kolnikova said?

In a statement filed by his lawyer, he said that he was forcibly landed in a van by masked people in the capital Minsk on Monday.

“It was said that if I did not voluntarily leave the Republic of Belarus, I would be expelled somehow, alive or in bit. I was also threatened with imprisonment for 25 years.”

Ms. Kolnikova was taken to the Ukrainian border with two others, but she stopped the officers forcibly tearing her passport and throwing it out of the car window, with people who were traveling with her.
Media captionIvan Kravtsov says Ms. Kolenikova tore her passport to pieces and then climbed through the rear car window

Her lawyer said her client was in “good spirits”.

What is the latest from Lukashenko?

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

Image copyrightGetty Images
image CaptionThe women were detained during the march in support of Maria Kolenikova and other opposition leaders

“People often reprimand me: ‘He won’t give power.” They told me right to reprimand. People did not choose me for this, ”he said.

“Electricity is not given for carrying, throwing and being given.”

Media captionWhat is behind the Belarus protest?

The president, who has been in power since 1994, said Belarus could not return to the instability of years after the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Meanwhile, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusus Morawiecki has offered Ms. Tikhanowskaya a house in the capital, Warsaw.

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