Maryia Kalesnikava

member of Coordination Council presidium, head of Viktar Babaryka's campaign team, sentenced to 11 years in prison

Date of birth: 24 April 1982

Date of detention: 7 September 2020

Charges indicted:

Art. 361 of the Criminal Code — Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of the Republic of Belarus
Art. 357 of the Criminal Code — Conspiracy to seize power in an unconstitutional way
Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code — Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it

Sentence: 11 years

Penalty: imprisonment in a general-security penal colony

Judge: Siarhei Yepikhau

Prosecutor: Aliaksandr Karol

Prison: Penal colony No. 4

Godparent: Claudia Roth, Vice President of the German Bundestag

On the list of “terrorists” (money transfers are prohibited)

Maryia Kalesnikava is a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council and the head of Viktar Babaryka's 2020 campaign team.

She was abducted on September 7, 2020, in Minsk and, along with two other members of the Coordination Council, Anton Radniankou and Ivan Krautsou, forcibly brought to the Ukrainian border to be expelled from the country. However, by tearing her passport and jumping out of the car, Kalesnikava foiled the special operation of deportation organized by the security forces.

On September 9, it became known that the woman had been arrested and was suspected of a criminal offense under Part 3 of Art. 361 of the Criminal Code (appeals to actions aimed at harming the national security of the Republic of Belarus).

Kalesnikava was held in pre-trial detention center No. 1 in Minsk. On September 11, she was transferred to the pre-trial prison in Žodzina.

On September 16, she faced formal charges under Part 3 of Art. 361 of the Criminal Code.

On February 10, 2021, Kalesnikava faced additional charges of "conspiracy to seize power with unconstitutional means" (Part 1 of Article 357) and "creating and managing an extremist formation" (Part 1 of Article 361-1).

On September 6, 2021, the Minsk Regional Court sentenced Kalesnikava to 11 years in a general-security penal colony.

On December 24, 2021, the Supreme Court upheld the sentences of Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak.

On January 11, 2022, Kalesnikava was transferred to penal colony No. 4 in Homieĺ.

On May 24, 2022, the KGB added Kalesnikava to the 'List of persons involved in terrorist activities'.

In November, the political prisoner was placed in the punishment cell, which was preceded by three penalties imposed by the penal colony administration. On November 28, 2022, Kalesnikava was taken to the surgical department of the Homieĺ emergency hospital and operated on for a peptic ulcer and peritonitis. A few days later, the prisoner was transferred back to the colony medical unit, where she was allowed to meet her father. Now Kalesnikava eats little food because the food in the colony is not suitable for her. The medical unit promised to adjust her diet. It is known that hospitalization was preceded by disproportionately harsh treatment in the punishment cell.

The representatives of the European Parliament issued a joint statement demanding that Kalesnikava must be granted immediate and unhindered access to medical care.

In mid-January 2023, Maria Kalesnikava was transferred back to her unit. She has already started working, but she gets tired after her shift. She is gaining weight little by little.

In late March 2023, information appeared that the political prisoner was placed in a tighter-security cell.

Maryia Kalesnikava has health problems in the women's penal colony in Homieĺ, therefore, she is not working. Once her cellmates even had to lead her out under her arms for roll call.

KGB adds Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak to ‘terrorists’ list

The KGB updated the list of ‘terrorists’ with 15 new people, including Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak.

Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison

The Minsk Regional Court has sentenced Maryia Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak, members of the opposition Coordination Council, to 11 and 10 years in prison, respectively, on charges “calls for action against national security” (Part 3 of Art. 361), “conspiracy to seize power in an unconstitutional manner” (Part 1 of Art. 357) and “creation and administration of an extremist formation” (Part 1 of Art. 361-1 of the Criminal Code).


Mail address: Penal colony No. 4. 246035, Homieĺ, vulica Antoshkina 3

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