Free Maria Kalesnikava

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This petition was created by the members of a Facebook group who came together as listeners of the Echo of Moscow radio station. We, the undersigned, are citizens of different countries and live in different parts of the world but are committed to the same human values. Today, we cannot remain indifferent to the fate of Maria Kolesnikova, a co-founder of the Belarussian Opposition Co-ordination Council, the head of Viktor Babariko’s presidential campaign, and a member of our group for the last few years. We consider it our duty to communicate our demands to Mr. Alexander Lukashenko.

We have been carefully monitoring and analyzing the events in Belarus from the very beginning. We conclude with full confidence that no evidence supports the claim that Maria Kolesnikova, detained on the 8th of September 2020 and accused of threatening the national security of Belarus, has ever called for any illegal activities. Quite the opposite, her statements and actions have been pronouncedly peaceful. We admire Maria’s courage for refusing to leave her country following the attempt at her deportation. Clearly, she would not have acted in this manner had she been guilty of a crime. All evidence indicates that the accusations against her are baseless, and that her detention is altogether unlawful.

We demand immediate release of Maria Kolesnikova and termination of criminal proceedings against her.

We appeal to the heads of states and to the leaders of international human rights and humanitarian organizations to exert diplomatic and public pressure on Mr. Lukashenko’s regime to bring about swift release of Maria Kolesnikova and other political prisoners in Belarus.