Maria Kolesnikova and two other members of the Belarusian Coordination Council were grabbed and driven to the Ukrainian border on Tuesday, where authorities detained Kolesnikova when she refused to leave the country.
Leading Belarusian opposition activist Maria Kolesnikova is being held at the country's border with Ukraine after she resisted authorities' attempt to force her out of the country.
Kolesnikova was detained Monday in the capital, Minsk, along with two other members of the Coordination Council.
The three individuals were driven to the Ukrainian border, where authorities forced them to cross into Ukraine.
Kolesnikova refused and remained on the Belarusian side of the border in custody of Belarusian authorities.
The two other council members, Ivan Kravtsov and Anton Rodnenkov, crossed into Ukraine. The Coordination Council The Coordination Council was created by the Belarus opposition to facilitate talks with longtime leader President Alexander Lukashenko on a transition of power.
Witnesses said unidentified men had seized Kolesnikova and drove her away in a minibus marked "Communications." READ MORE: Leading opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova reportedly abducted in Belarus Pressure tactics from authorities The Belarusian authorities have applied similar tactics to other opposition figures, seeking to end a month of demonstrations against the re-election of Lukashenko in a vote the protesters see as rigged.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the main opposition challenger to Lukashenko, left for Lithuania a day after the August 9 vote, under pressure from the authorities.
On Saturday, a top associate of Tsikhanouskaya, Olga Kovalkova , moved to Poland after the authorities threatened to keep her in jail for a long time if she refused to leave the country. READ MORE: Opposition activist Kovalkova forced to leave Belarus
Belarusian prosecutors have opened a criminal probe against members of the Coordination Council that opposition activists set up after the election to try to negotiate a transition of power.
Several council members were arrested and some others called for questioning. Forming a new political party Last week, Kolesnikova announced the creation of a new party, Together.
She said the move will help overcome the current crisis, but the party founders’ call for constitutional changes has stunned some other opposition council members, who argued that it could divert attention from the main goal of getting Lukashenko to step down.
"The country is in a political and socio-economic crisis, and together we know, how to exit this crisis... Very soon we will hand in the paperwork needed for registration," Kolesnikova said in the video. READ MORE: Thousands rally for Belarus opposition march on Lukashenko's birthdaySource: trtworld.com