Belarusian opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova has been beaten by security officials, her lawyer said on Thursday after meeting the detained activist. Ms Kolesnikova tore up her passport on the border with Ukraine early on Tuesday morning in order to avoid expulsion.

A member of the Coordination Council, which the regime claims to be illegal, she said the security officials told her she would leave Belarus “alive or in pieces.” She is now being held in jail in Minsk.

Her lawyer, Lyudmila Kazak, told the independent news site tut.by that she was threatened with death in custody or a prison term of up to 25 years. In response to a complaint filed with the government’s State Investigative Committee, a spokesman said: “At the present moment I have no information about this.”

Ms Kolesnikova’s complaint includes the names and ranks of officers in the KGB who have threatened her.

PHOTO: Maria Kolesnikova, right, with Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the opposition candidate in the August 9 presidential poll