Jailed Belarus protest leader was in serious condition when taken to hospital - ally

KYIV (Reuters) - Jailed Belarusian protest leader Maria Kolesnikova was already in a serious condition when she was taken from prison to a hospital to be operated on and her diagnosis has not been disclosed, a political ally said on Wednesday.

Kolesnikova, an outspoken critic of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, was in intensive care on Tuesday after undergoing an operation at a hospital in the southeastern city of Gomel, her sister said on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, opposition politician Viktor Babariko's Telegram account said Kolesnikova's father, Alexander, was at the hospital and speaking to doctors in the presence of police officers.

"Maria Kolesnikova arrived in an already serious condition. The lawyer is still not being allowed through, they won't say what the diagnosis is," the Telegram account said.

Her operation was successful and she was now conscious, but still in a serious condition, it quoted doctors as saying.

"They're not even telling the father the diagnosis: apparently a statement ... is needed stating that Maria grants permission. According to unconfirmed information, Maria has a perforated ulcer," he said.

Reuters could not immediately verify Kolesnikova's whereabouts or condition.

Kolesnikova, one of the leaders of mass street protestsagainst Lukashenko in 2020, is serving an 11-year sentence forwhat she said were trumped-up allegations of involvement in massunrest.

(Writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Timothy Heritage)