Maria kolesnikova, one of belaruss main opposition leaders, vanished in minsk on monday early morning, as regime of autocratic frontrunner alexander lukashenko battles to quell protests against their disputed re-election.
Ms kolesnikova ended up being the very last associated with the three women who spearheaded the promotion against mr lukashenko in last months presidential election to remain in belarus, after svetlana tikhanovskaya and veronika tsepkalo fled the country under some pressure through the protection services.
Maksim znak, an attorney through the opposition coordination council, that ms kolesnikova can be a member, told the financial times that she had almost certainly been detained.
There isn't any official information. she's disappeared, he added.
According to an experience mentioned by the separate belarusian internet site tut.by, masked guys bundled ms kolesnikova into a minivan in main minsk, before operating the woman away to an as yet not known destination.
I heard the noise of a phone dropping on asphalt, some kind of a scuffle, turned round, and saw that folks in masks and civilian garments had been pushing maria into this minibus, anastasia, the witness, told tut.by. the woman phone travelled away, one of these brilliant folks picked up the device, jumped in to the minibus, and additionally they drove off.
Russias interfax news company cited belarusian police stating that they had perhaps not detained ms kolesnikova.
Ms kolesnikovas disappearance comes as mr lukashenko scrambles to support the huge street protests that erupted after he claimed a landslide triumph inside deeply flawed election, and which have get to be the most severe challenge to their expert during his 26 years in power.
Tens and thousands of protesters took on streets in the united states on sunday, for the 4th week-end in a row, to call for mr lukashenkos departure plus the holding of fresh, no-cost and fair elections.
The inside ministry said that 633 individuals were detained to take part in unsanctioned protests the highest number since a brutal crackdown when you look at the instant aftermath of this election on august 9.
Along with ms kolesnikova, two other opposition figures, anton rodnenkov and ivan kravtsov, were reported missing on monday morning.
The campaign team of viktor babariko the resistance presidential applicant for whom ms kolesnikova worked before joining causes with ms tikhanovskaya after he had been arrested said so it had no information regarding their particular whereabouts, but that attorneys had been taking care of the problem.
Ms tikhanovskaya stated your evident detentions of ms kolesnikova while the two various other opposition activists revealed the belarusian authorities had been engaged in terror.
You can't explain it in virtually any various other method. the abductions... are an attempt to interrupt the job regarding the coordination council and intimidate its users, she stated.
The authorities tend to be wrong when they believe it will probably stop united states. the more they [try to] intimidate, the greater individuals will head out onto the roads. we'll still battle, we're going to look for the release of all prisoners therefore the holding of brand new, fair elections.
Lithuanias international minister, linas linkevicius, that has been an outspoken critic of mr lukashenko, and whose nation has given refuge to ms tikhanovskaya, demanded that ms kolesnikova be released.
In place of conversing with individuals of belarus, the outbound management is trying cynically eliminate one at a time [sic], he wrote on twitter.
The kidnapping of [maria] kalesnikava in downtown of minsk is a disgrace. stalinist nkvd practices are increasingly being used in 21st centurys european countries. she should be introduced immediately.