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World News

Belarusian opposition politician Kolesnikova suspected of calls to seize power - RIA cites lawyer

FILE PHOTO: Belarusian opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova gestures in front of law enforcement officers during a rally in Minsk, Belarus August 30, 2020. Tut.By via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarusian opposition politician Maria Kolesnikova is being detained on suspicion of making calls to seize power, as part of a criminal case, the Russian news agency RIA cited her lawyer as saying on Wednesday.

Kolesnikova was snatched in the street by masked men on Monday. She is prominent leader of protests demanding the resignation of leader Alexander Lukashenko following an Aug. 9 presidential election that the opposition says was rigged. Lukashenko denies vote-rigging.

Nobel prize-winning author Svetlana Alexievich, one of Kolesnikova’s allies, accused the Belarus authorities of terrorising their own people on Wednesday as another opposition politician was detained by masked men in plain clothes.

(This story corrects headline and lead to show Kolesnikova is suspected of making calls to seize power, not of state treason)

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Alex Richardson

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