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Belarusian protest leader Kolesnikova handed 11-year sentence

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Maria Kolesnikova was a symbol of freedom during last year’s protests against President Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, but now the 39-year-old is facing 11 years in a prison camp for her leading role in the demonstrations. A court in the capital Minsk found her guilty on Monday of charges of attempting to illegally seize power. Her co-defendant, lawyer Maxim Snak, with whom she founded the Coordinating Council for the Transfer of Power in Belarus, received a similarly harsh 10-year sentence. Kolesnikova stood in a cage in the courtroom, and despite being handcuffed, managed to make her trade…

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