TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — Maria Kolesnikova, a prominent member of the Belarusian opposition serving an 11-year prison sentence for helping stage anti-government protests, has been returned to her prison cell after undergoing an operation for a perforated ulcer. Her father Alexander Kolesnikov told the Associated Press Monday that he was able to visit his daughter for about 10 minutes and found her weak but “her mood is good and she even tried to smile.” Kolesnikova has been in custody since September 2020, when she tore up her passport at the border to prevent her forced expulsion from Belarus amid massive protests challenging the reelection of the country’s authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko.
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