Start News Lukashenko initiates criminal proceedings against critics

Lukashenko initiates criminal proceedings against critics

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The ruler Alexander Lukashenko has now officially initiated criminal proceedings against the leaders of the democracy movement from Belarus. Svetlana Tichanowskaja, Maria Kolesnikowa, Maxim Snak, Olga Kowalkowa, Sergei Dylewski and other people are being investigated for the formation and management of an “extremist association”, the Public Prosecutor General announced in Minsk yesterday.

In a „conspiracy“ they had the goal of seizing power by means of a coup. The criminal proceedings are considered to be politically motivated to silence Lukashenko’s opponents.
Peaceful transfer of power as the goal

The 38-year-old opposition leader Kolesnikova is already in custody. The others named had set up a civil society coordination council after the presidential election, which was widely criticized as being falsified, with the aim of a peaceful transfer of power. Lukashenko had condemned the body as extremist, rejected a dialogue and the resignation, which was demanded even in the case of protests by hundreds of thousands.

Most of the members of the Coordination Council had left the country under pressure from the authorities. They had already been questioned in the summer – but officially as witnesses. Kolesnikova then resisted deportation to Ukraine – and tore up her passport at the border. She was arrested after being kidnapped by the KGB secret service.
30,000 arrests during protests

The movement sees 38-year-old Tichanovskaya as the true winner of the August 9 election. From her exile in the neighboring EU country Lithuania, she organizes the protests, meets regularly with heads of state and government and forms a government in exile. The civil rights activist who has been wanted from her home country accuses “dictator” Lukashenko of serious crimes against humanity.

After 26 years in power, 66-year-old Lukashenko was again declared the winner after the election with 80.1 percent. There have been protests since then. The movement also calls for the release of all political prisoners. The protests left several dead, hundreds injured and around 30,000 arrests.