Lukashenko's opponent in the clinic: Baerbock is worried about Kolesnikova

One of the figureheads of the Belarusian opposition movement is transferred from the prison camp to an intensive care unit.

Lukashenko's opponent in the clinic: Baerbock is worried about Kolesnikova

One of the figureheads of the Belarusian opposition movement is transferred from the prison camp to an intensive care unit. Not even her family knows what Maria Kolesnikova is missing. Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is demanding her immediate release from prison.

Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called for the immediate release of government critic Maria Kolesnikova, who has been imprisoned in Belarus. "The reports on Maria Kolesnikova's state of health affect me very much," Baerbock said on Twitter. "The regime in Belarus must guarantee their health and release them immediately. Their commitment to democracy is not a crime."

Supporters of Kolesnikova announced on Tuesday that the 40-year-old was in intensive care. She is being treated in a hospital in the city of Gomel in the south-east of the country, said the press service of opposition leader Viktor Babaryko, who was also imprisoned and for whom Kolesnikova had worked. Accordingly, Kolesnikova was first taken to surgery on Monday before being transferred to the intensive care unit.

"What happened to Maria, whether there was an accident or whether she was ill - we just don't know," said her sister Tatjana Chomitsch to "Spiegel". "Nobody tells us why she is in the hospital." The father Alexander was only told on the phone that Kolesnikova was "in a stable, serious condition with improvement". Her lawyer Vladimir Pyltschenko had been confirmed that she was a patient at the clinic, without further information.

Kolesnikova has been imprisoned in a penal colony in Gomel for almost a year. She was sentenced to 11 years in prison in a closed session on December 24, 2021, after having been detained by the regime for more than a year.

Kolesnikova is one of the most well-known faces of the opposition in Belarus. She was accused of, among other things, "conspiracy to seize power". Kolesnikova led the mass protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in 2020 alongside opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and activist Veronika Zepkalo. As one of the few leading Belarusian opposition figures, Kolesnikova decided against fleeing into exile.

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