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story.lead_photo.caption Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 Nobel literature laureate smiles as she opens her apartment door to greet supporters in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020. On Wednesday morning unidentified people tried to enter the apartment of the last member of the council's executive presidium who remained free. (AP Photo/TUT.by)

KYIV, Ukraine -- Belarusian authorities on Wednesday detained one of the two last leading members of an opposition council who remained free, moving methodically to end a month of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Lawyer Maxim Znak, a member of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with the country's leader of 26 years on a transition of power, was taken out of the council's office by masked people, associate Gleb German said.

Znak had time only to text "masks" before the people took the phone away from him, German said.

Some people also attempted Wednesday to enter the apartment of writer Svetlana Alexievich, the winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in literature and now the only member of the council's executive presidium still free in Belarus.

Diplomats from several European Union nations converged on Alexievich's apartment in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, to try to prevent her detention.

The rising pressure on activists is implementd as Belarus marks a month of protests over Lukashenko's reelection to a sixth term in the Aug. 9 vote, which the opposition rejects as rigged. The protests that drew up to 200,000 on Sundays cast an unprecedented challenge to the Belarusian leader's iron-fist rule.

Lukashenko, 66, a former state farm director, has dismissed the opposition as Western stooges and rejected demands from the United States and the European Union to engage in a dialogue with protesters demanding his resignation. The U.S. and the EU have criticized the Belarusian election as neither free nor fair.

The Interior Ministry said that 121 people were detained in the capital and other cities on Tuesday for taking part in unsanctioned demonstrations. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters again formed "chains in solidarity" in several parts of Minsk.

The foreign ministers of the Nordic and Baltic nations, meeting Wednesday in Estonia, urged Belarusian authorities to end a police crackdown on postelection protests and the prosecution and forcible expulsions of activists.

"We demand the immediate release of all those detained on political grounds before and after the falsified presidential election," Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said after the meeting.

Linde published a picture on her Twitter account showing Alexievich surrounded by European diplomats at her home on Wednesday.

Last month, Alexievich was questioned by Belarusian investigators, who have opened a criminal investigation into members of the Coordination Council, accusing them of undermining national security. Several council members were arrested and others were forcibly expelled from the country.

Alexievich dismissed the official accusations, saying in a statement released Wednesday that the council was seeking to defuse the crisis sparked by Lukashenko's reelection by offering to foster a dialogue between authorities and protesters.

"We weren't preparing a coup, we were trying to prevent a split in our country," Alexievich said.

She warned that the arrests of opposition activists will not end protests.

Speaking to reporters from her apartment, she said she doesn't plan to leave the country despite the official pressure.

"This is terror against our own people," she said.

Information for this article was contributed by Vladimir Isachenkov, Jari Tanner, Monika Scislowska and Jan M. Olsen of The Associated Press.

Protesters try to prevent police from detaining a demonstrator, center, during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, and other members of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The leading opposition candidate in Belarus' disputed presidential election said Wednesday that the political tension in her country should be solved internally, by the Belarusian people, but she did not exclude the need for future international mediation. (AP Photo)
Protesters try to prevent police from detaining a demonstrator, center, during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, and other members of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The leading opposition candidate in Belarus' disputed presidential election said Wednesday that the political tension in her country should be solved internally, by the Belarusian people, but she did not exclude the need for future international mediation. (AP Photo)
Police officers detain protesters during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. A leading opposition activist in Belarus is being held on the border with Ukraine after she resisted attempts by authorities to deport her from the country as part of a clampdown on protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo)
Police officers detain protesters during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. A leading opposition activist in Belarus is being held on the border with Ukraine after she resisted attempts by authorities to deport her from the country as part of a clampdown on protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2020, file photo, Maria Kolesnikova, one of Belarus' opposition leaders, center left, and her father Alexander, center right, walk on the way to the Belarusian Investigative Committee in Minsk, Belarus. Kolesnikova, a professional flute player with no political experience, emerged as a key opposition activist in Belarus. She has appeared at protests of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko after he was kept in power by an Aug. 9 election that his critics say was rigged. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2020, file photo, Maria Kolesnikova, one of Belarus' opposition leaders, center left, and her father Alexander, center right, walk on the way to the Belarusian Investigative Committee in Minsk, Belarus. Kolesnikova, a professional flute player with no political experience, emerged as a key opposition activist in Belarus. She has appeared at protests of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko after he was kept in power by an Aug. 9 election that his critics say was rigged. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, File)
Protesters try to prevent police from detaining a demonstrator, center, during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, and other members of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The leading opposition candidate in Belarus' disputed presidential election said Wednesday that the political tension in her country should be solved internally, by the Belarusian people, but she did not exclude the need for future international mediation. (AP Photo)
Protesters try to prevent police from detaining a demonstrator, center, during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, and other members of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The leading opposition candidate in Belarus' disputed presidential election said Wednesday that the political tension in her country should be solved internally, by the Belarusian people, but she did not exclude the need for future international mediation. (AP Photo)
Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 Nobel literature laureate smiles while looking out of her apartment door to greets supporters in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020. On Wednesday morning unidentified people were trying to enter the apartment of the last member of the council's executive presidium who remained free, Svetlana Alexievich. Belarusian authorities on Wednesday detained Maxim Znak, one of the last leading members of an opposition council who remained free, moving methodically to end a month of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Belarusian Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 Nobel literature laureate smiles while looking out of her apartment door to greets supporters in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020. On Wednesday morning unidentified people were trying to enter the apartment of the last member of the council's executive presidium who remained free, Svetlana Alexievich. Belarusian authorities on Wednesday detained Maxim Znak, one of the last leading members of an opposition council who remained free, moving methodically to end a month of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Authorities carry documents and computers out of the opposition Coordination Council office after a search raid in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020. Belarusian authorities on Wednesday detained one of the last leading members of an opposition council who remained free, moving methodically to end a month of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Authorities carry documents and computers out of the opposition Coordination Council office after a search raid in Minsk, Belarus, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020. Belarusian authorities on Wednesday detained one of the last leading members of an opposition council who remained free, moving methodically to end a month of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo/TUT.by)
Lawyer Maxim Znak, a member of the opposition Coordination Council, which was set up after the Aug. 9 election to try to negotiate a transition of power with the government of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Znak said the Belarus Supreme Court refused to look at 26 folders of evidence from the opposition that the election keeping Lukashenko in power was rigged. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Lawyer Maxim Znak, a member of the opposition Coordination Council, which was set up after the Aug. 9 election to try to negotiate a transition of power with the government of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. Znak said the Belarus Supreme Court refused to look at 26 folders of evidence from the opposition that the election keeping Lukashenko in power was rigged. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
A woman with her child react as police officers detain protesters during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. A leading opposition activist in Belarus is being held on the border with Ukraine after she resisted attempts by authorities to deport her from the country as part of a clampdown on protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo)
A woman with her child react as police officers detain protesters during a rally in support of Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the Coordination Council created by the opposition to facilitate talks with Lukashenko on a transition of power, was detained Monday in the capital of Minsk with two other council members, in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. A leading opposition activist in Belarus is being held on the border with Ukraine after she resisted attempts by authorities to deport her from the country as part of a clampdown on protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. (AP Photo)
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya interacts with supporters in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The visit to Warsaw by Tsikhanouskaya is one way in which the Polish government is seeking to support the Belarusian opposition in its struggle for change after a disputed election.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya interacts with supporters in Warsaw, Poland, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. The visit to Warsaw by Tsikhanouskaya is one way in which the Polish government is seeking to support the Belarusian opposition in its struggle for change after a disputed election.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
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