Maryja Kalesnikawa

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Maryja Kalesnikawa (2020)

Maryja Aljaksandrauna Kalesnikawa ( Belarusian Марыя Аляксандраўна Калеснікава , Russian Мария Александровна Колесникова Marija Alexandrovna Kolesnikova , by itself used transcription Maria Kalesnikava ; born on 24. April 1982 in Minsk , Byelorussian SSR ) is a currently imprisoned civil rights activist in Belarus , as well as a music teacher and flautist .

Through her relationships with Svyatlana Zichanouskaja , Weranika Zapkala , the wife of Valeryj Zepkala , and the friendship with Wiktar Babaryka as well as the political development in her home country , she became a human rights activist and non-party politician. In 2020 she became internationally known for her role in the Belarusian opposition.

At the beginning of September 2020 , Kalesnikawa " disappeared " in Minsk in a previously unexplained manner; Her family announced two days later that she was in state custody . In February, the prosecutor expanded the charges against her: she is said to have been involved in a conspiracy to seize power in an anti-constitutional manner and to have founded and led an extremist association. For this she was sentenced to eleven years in prison.


Maryja Kalesnikawa completed a soloist degree in flute at the Belarusian State Music Academy in Minsk . She then studied ancient and contemporary music at the Stuttgart University of Music . She then spent several years abroad and took part in numerous German and international festivals with various ensembles. She has been teaching classical music since 2016 and has been the project manager of the Artemp Festival since 2017. She speaks fluent German.

Participation in the presidential election campaign in 2020

Coordination Council (Presidium)

After the arrest of the opposition politician Babaryka, she took his place in the 2020 presidential election campaign . Together with Svyatlana Zichanouskaja and Weranika Zapkala , the wife of Valeryj Zapkala , she formed a trio of women against the ruling Aljaksandr Lukashenka before the presidential election , which quickly achieved surprising results for the government. “The appearance of the three women is something new in Belarus. Their language, their gestures. One always shows a victory sign , the second stretches her right fist, the third forms her hands into a heart. "

Democracy Movement, Coordination Council and the new Rasam Party

After the election, which was largely viewed as a sham election internationally , Maryja Kalesnikawa was the only one of the trio to remain in the country, while massive unrest and numerous protests against the government broke out. Numerous demonstrators were injured and arrested as a result of repressive measures by the police and the authorities. Kalesnikawa is a member of the Opposition Coordinating Council for the Transfer of Power, founded by Svyatlana Zichanouskaya on August 19, 2020 in Belarus .

At the beginning of September 2020, Maryja Kalesnikawa announced the founding of a new party called Rasam (German: Together, Russian Вместе Wmeste ), which works independently of the Coordinating Council.

Arrested September 7, 2020

On September 7, 2020, the media initially reported that Kalesnikawa had been arrested or abducted. She was arrested in downtown Minsk by as yet unidentified people. The police are checking whether she has been kidnapped. It was suspected that they had been made to disappear . Even two of her employees, Anton Rodnenkow and Ivan Kravtsov , each message was missing. On the same day, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on the Belarusian leadership to investigate the disappearance of Kalesnikawa immediately and publicly considered how the EU would react collectively. On September 8, the media reported that Kalesnikawa was arrested by the Belarusian border guards on the border with Ukraine for allegedly “resisting their deportation” and “tearing up her passport”. Rodnenkow and Krawzow, on the other hand, were forced to leave the country. On the other hand, the Belarusian side reported that Kalesnikawa had also "left" after being temporarily detained in Ukraine . The Ukrainian border guards denied this. The coordinating council of the opposition movement announced that they did not know where Kalesnikawa was at the moment and could only confirm that she had not wanted to leave the country voluntarily.

In an interview, the Deputy Minister of the Interior of Ukraine said that Kalesnikawas had not left the country, but that a deportation by the KGB had failed because of their brave behavior; Ivan Kravtsov later confirmed this. Her family said that, according to information from the investigative authority, Maryja Kalesnikawa is in a detention center in the capital Minsk and that she has been accused of “calling for power to be taken over and forcibly changing the constitution”.

Solidarity rallies took place in Minsk on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, during which people also demanded the release of Kalesnikawa and the other political prisoners. There were several arrests again.

On September 10, 2020, Kalesnikawa announced that she had been threatened with dismembering her body and a 25-year prison sentence. She therefore brought criminal charges against the authorities, in particular the Belarusian KGB and OMON, for threats of death. According to her lawyer, Kalesnikawa was bruised and bruised.

Shortly afterwards, Kalesnikawa was transferred to a prison in the city of Shodsina, northeast of Minsk.

On September 13, 2020, the opposition again called for mass protests in the country . A “March of Heroes” was held in Minsk, which also remembered Kalesnikawa.

Indictment and conviction

On September 16, 2020, Kalesnikawa was charged with "endangering state security." According to the investigating authority, the accused had used the Internet and the mass media to call for acts that were directed against national security and wanted to harm Belarus.

Kalesnikawa's attorney, Lyudmila Kasak, called the allegations against her client that she had attempted an illegal seizure of power as absurd.

The public was barred from taking part in the trial of Kalesnikawa and co-defendant Maksim Snak in the Minsk District Court, and those involved were sworn to secrecy. On September 6, 2021, Kalesnikawa was sentenced to eleven years in prison, Snak to ten years.

International reactions

The Council of Europe wants to investigate human rights abuses in the country. The Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) condemned political violence in Belarus.

Concerning the arrest of Kalesnikawa, the Green Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann , expressed himself in a letter to the Ambassador of Belarus, Denis Sidorenko. In it, Kretschmann called for an end to the action against those who think differently. About Kalesnikawa, who studied in Stuttgart, he said: "For weeks she has been a pioneer in the demonstrations of the opposition, but always pleaded for the complete non-violence of the protests." The leadership in Belarus must expect EU sanctions if they do theirs Do not change course.

The human rights organization Amnesty International said that Kalesnikawa had not committed an internationally recognized crime and that she was being prosecuted for exercising her rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. Amnesty International therefore classified her as a political prisoner and requested her immediate release.


Web links

Commons : Maryja Kalesnikawa  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. У Менску затрымалі і хутка адпусьцілі Марыю Калесьнікаву . Radio Free Europe . August 8, 2020. Accessed September 8, 2020.
  2. Адар'я Гуштын: "Мария всегда повторяла: что бы ни случилось, я буду в Беларуси". Отец Колесниковой прокомментировал слова Лукашенко . TUT.BY . August 8, 2020. Accessed September 8, 2020.
  3. Interview by Alice Bota with her sister in: The time of March 8, 2021 - see web links
  4. ^ A b ARD-Studio Moscow: Belarus - Eleven years imprisonment for Kolesnikowa. , September 6, 2021, accessed on September 8, 2021 (German).
  5. ^ Opposition Kolesnikova sentenced to eleven years in prison , DLF, September 6, 2021.
  6. Maria Kalesnikava on TRIO vis-à-vis ; accessed on August 22, 2020
  7. Jan D. Walter: Maria Kolesnikowa: For a Free, Democratic Belarus (Interview), DW, August 19, 2020.
  8. 3-belarusian-women-teamed-up: We decided to unite and show what female solidarity is. In Daily Sabah of July 17, 20
  9. Thielko Grieß: Women's Power for Political Change , DLF Kultur, August 4, 2020.
  10. Weronika Zepkalo: "We will fight to the end" (Subtitle: Weronika Zepkalo was one of the three women who sparked the protest in Belarus. In an interview she tells how she wants to overthrow the Lukashenko system from exile.) Interview by Simone Brunner in Die Zeit on September 23, 2020
  11. What was important this week - bogus election in Belarus, .. in the republic of August 14, 2020; accessed on August 22, 2020
  12. Belarus: Mass protest eclipses defiant Belarus leader's rally , BBC, August 16, 2020.
  13. Alice Bota: Torture in Belarus: “On the floor, on the walls, on the ceiling, the blood was everywhere.” Interview with Claudio Locatelli, Zeit Online , Aug. 14, 2020.
  14. Deutsche Welle ( В Беларуси Координационный совет оппозиции сформировал президиум | DW | 08/19/2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020 (ru-RU).
  15. On her Facebook page Maria Kalesnikava: We announce the founding of the political party "Together" There it says, on September 1st together with Eduard Babariko ( accessed September 3rd, 2020)
  16. Opposition in Belarus founds new party. Accessed September 1, 2020 .
  17. ^ Opposition politician Maria Kolesnikowa is missing. In: Die Zeit online. September 7, 2020.
  18. There is great concern: Foreign Minister Maas urges Der Spiegel on September 7, 2020.
  19. Article by Julian Röpcke in on September 7th, 2020 - 6:54 pm
  20. The editorial network D. reports: Kolesnikowa arrested on the border with Ukraine. Via Deutschlandfunk , drn: news_id = 1170494, 2020-09-08
  21. a b "She showed people how to fight for freedom"., accessed on September 15, 2020 .
  22. The editorial network D. reports: Belarus authorities: Kolesnikowa left voluntarily in the morning for Ukraine.
  23. ^ The editorial network D. reports: kolesnikowa-not-at-the-border-control-arrived
  24. ^ Gareth Browne, Written at Minsk: Maria Kolesnikova 'ripped up passport' during deportation attempt. In: The Times , London, 8 Sept. 12:00 pm
  25. 2-minute video of the time , including with the statement of the Vice Minister of the Interior of Ukraine today (from second 50; a failed deportation by the KGB)
  26. ^ Disappeared opposition members Kolesnikowa reappeared , SZ, September 10, 2020.
  27. Belarus: Kolesnikowa reports a death threat. Retrieved September 10, 2020 .
  28. Belarus: charges brought against opposition members Kolesnikowa. Retrieved September 16, 2020 .
  29. Belarus: Kolesnikowa transferred to another prison , ORF, September 12, 2020.
  30. Belarus: charges brought against opposition members Kolesnikowa. Retrieved September 16, 2020 .
  31. ^ Belarus: charges brought against opposition Kolesnikowa. Accessed on September 16, 2020 (German).
  33. ... Council of Europe wants to investigate human rights abuses The Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) condemned the political violence in Belarus.
  34. Lukashenko has opposition headquarters closed. In: Free Press. Retrieved September 16, 2020 .
  35. Release Maria Kolesnikova! In: Amnesty International Germany. September 23, 2020, accessed September 26, 2020 .
  36. ^ The democratic opposition in Belarus - 2020, Belarus. European Parliament, accessed October 22, 2020 .
  37. Belarusian opposition receives Sakharov Prize
  38. Lev Kopelev Awards go to Belarus and Russia. Zeit Online, April 16, 2021, accessed September 6, 2021 .
  39. ^ Fritz Csoklich Prize: Award for women trio. In: The press . July 16, 2021, accessed July 17, 2021 .
  40. ^ Maria Kolesnikowa: Belarusian civil rights activist receives Stuttgart Peace Prize. Stuttgarter Zeitung, July 13, 2021, accessed on September 6, 2021 .
  41. 2021 International Women of Courage Award Recipients Announced. US Department of State , March 4, 2021; accessed September 6, 2021 .
  42. Belarus activist Maria Kalesnikowa honored. SWR, February 8, 2021, accessed on September 7, 2021 .