Maria Kalesnikava transferred to penal colony

According to Radio Svaboda, Maria Kalesnikava has been transferred to the only Belarusian women’s penal colony near Homel. In September 2021, Kalesnikava, a prominent opposition activist, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on charges of conspiracy to seize power. She has been behind bars since September 2020 after she refused to leave Belarus and famously ripped up her passport.

Last year, Kalesnikava was awarded several prizes, including the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize and the Martin Luther Fearless Word Prize, to honor her outstanding contribution to the defense of human rights amid the ongoing crackdown in Belarus. In a written interview with Deutsche Welle, the activist stated she felt “honored to walk the path to freedom and change with ordinary Belarusians”.

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