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WARSAW, Sept 6 — A senior member of Belarus’ opposition Coordination Council said yesterday she had taken refuge in Poland after Belarus security services threatened her during detention then transported her to the border.
Olga Kovalkova was arrested in her homeland on August 25 for her activities in the Council presidium seeking political transition.
Accompanied by the Polish prime minister’s chief of staff, She told a press conference in Warsaw that security agents had driven her directly from jail to a border post.
She said she was made to lie down on the floor of the Belarus intelligence service car driving her to the border post at Kuznica Bialostocka, where she was released between the Polish and Belarusian border posts.
She managed to board a Polish bus after the driver recognised her.
Kovalkova said that “everything that happened these past days and weeks I consider as torture. They threatened me with lengthy detention several times.”
Michal Dworczyk, chief of staff to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, told reporters that Kovalkova had reached Warsaw overnight “in dramatic circumstances”.
Warsaw would offer support to Belarus victims of repression and those fearing for their lives and wellbeing, he added.
Dworczyk said that since a disputed August 9 election officially won by strongman Alexander Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, there had been more than 100 requests to stay in Poland.
Lukashenko poll challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who left Belarus under pressure from the authorities and was granted refuge in EU member Lithuania, will visit Poland on Wednesday, authorities said in Warsaw. — AFP
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