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Trial begins for Belarusian activists: What you need to know

Picture courtesy: BBC/Getty images

Maria Kolesnikova, one of the leaders of mass street protests went on trial on Wednesday.

She and opposition lawyer Maxim Znak were charged last year for incitement to undermine national security. If they are found guilty, they could get 12 years imprisonment.

Kolesnikova, 39, became one of the faces of the mass opposition movement during the campaign for the August 9 presidential election last year.

She has not been seen in public for months. She was detained after tearing up her passport to prevent Belarusian security forces from deporting her in a standoff at the Ukrainian border in September.

Attending the court behind a glass screen she smiled and appeared to dance.

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