Maria kolesnikova, certainly one of belaruss main opposition leaders, vanished in minsk on monday early morning, since the regime of autocratic frontrunner alexander lukashenko battles to quell protests against their disputed re-election.
Ms kolesnikova had been the final of three women that spearheaded the campaign against mr lukashenko in final months presidential election to remain in belarus, after svetlana tikhanovskaya and veronika tsepkalo fled the country under pressure through the security services.
Maksim znak, a lawyer through the opposition coordination council, that ms kolesnikova can be a part, informed the financial occasions that she had almost certainly already been detained.
There's no official information. she's got disappeared, he added.
According to a witness mentioned because of the independent belarusian web site , masked guys bundled ms kolesnikova into a minivan in main minsk, before operating her away to a not known location.
I heard the noise of a telephone falling on asphalt, some sort of a scuffle, turned round, and saw that folks in masks and civilian clothes were pressing maria into this minibus, anastasia, the witness, told . her phone travelled away, one of these simple men and women picked up the phone, jumped in to the minibus, in addition they drove down.
Russias interfax news agency cited belarusian authorities saying that they had not detained ms kolesnikova.
Ms kolesnikovas disappearance comes as mr lukashenko scrambles to retain the huge street protests that erupted after he advertised a landslide victory in deeply problematic election, and which have end up being the many really serious challenge to his expert during his 26 years in power.
Thousands of protesters took towards the streets across the country on sunday, for 4th weekend in a row, to call for mr lukashenkos departure in addition to holding of fresh, free and reasonable elections.
The inside ministry stated that 633 everyone was detained when planning on taking part in unsanctioned protests the greatest quantity since an intense crackdown in the instant aftermath regarding the election on august 9.
As well as ms kolesnikova, two other opposition figures, anton rodnenkov and ivan kravtsov, had been reported missing on monday morning.
The promotion team of viktor babariko the resistance presidential candidate for who ms kolesnikova worked before joining causes with ms tikhanovskaya after he was arrested stated so it had no information regarding their whereabouts, but that lawyers were working on the matter.
Ms tikhanovskaya said the apparent detentions of ms kolesnikova as well as the two other resistance activists revealed the belarusian authorities had been involved with terror.
You cannot describe it in any other means. the abductions... are an effort to interrupt the task of the coordination council and intimidate its members, she said.
The authorities tend to be incorrect when they believe it'll stop us. the greater they [try to] intimidate, the greater amount of people will venture out onto the streets. we're going to still battle, we will look for the release of most prisoners and also the holding of brand new, reasonable elections.
Lithuanias foreign minister, linas linkevicius, who has been an outspoken critic of mr lukashenko, and whose country has given refuge to ms tikhanovskaya, demanded that ms kolesnikova be circulated.
In the place of conversing with individuals of belarus, the outgoing management is trying cynically eradicate 1 by 1 [sic], he penned on twitter.
The kidnapping of [maria] kalesnikava in downtown of minsk is a disgrace. stalinist nkvd techniques are being applied in twenty-first centurys europe. she needs to be circulated straight away.