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Belarus protest leaders kidnapped

On Sunday, more than 100,000 people marched on the president’s residence calling on him to quit. Reports have since emerged saying that several key figures, responsible for coordinating the protests have been kidnapped. By Michael Delaney.

The protests continue

Protests have continued against Lukashenko, following the dubious election that handed him 80% of the votes.

Since then, Belarusians have been making their voices heard on the streets, defying the government’s demands to cease their protests.

On Sunday, over 600 arrests are thought to have been made, detaining those who attended the march.

Stories have trickled out from the totalitarian state of beatings and torture for those captured by police.

Opposition figures kidnapped

On Monday, the Belarusian opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova was kidnapped by masked men in Minsk and driven away. Two of her opposition colleagues also vanished. The three activists were later driven to the Alexandrovka border with Ukraine in a car that arrived at about 4am on Tuesday.

Ms Kolesnikova apparently ripped up her passport in order to avoid being deported from her own country, according to Ukrainian media reports.

The opposition campaign

Maria Kolesnikova was a campaign partner of the opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.

Ms Tikhanovskaya fled with her family to Lithuania following the rigged election.

Another leading activist, Olga Kovalkova, arrived in Poland on Saturday, saying she had been told she would face arrest if she stayed in Belarus.

The British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, tweeted: “Seriously concerned for the welfare of Maria Kolesnikova in Belarus. Lukashenko’s regime must make her safe return their highest priority. The regime must cease brutalising protesters, release political prisoners and begin dialogue with the opposition.”