Belarus election challenger Svetlana Tikhanovskaya appeared in a video published by state media Tuesday urging supporters not to protest, but her allies said it was recorded under pressure.
In the video published by state news agency Belta, Tikhanovskaya appeared to read from a prepared statement calling for "respect for the law" and for Belarusians not to take to the streets.
Her head lowered, she was shown sitting on a black sofa in front of a window with the blinds closed.
Tikhanovskaya, who says she defeated longtime authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko in Sunday's vote, has left the country to seek refuge in Lithuania after two nights of clashes. "We believe that this video was recorded under pressure from law enforcement," Maria Kolesnikova, a key Tikhanovskaya ally, told reporters.
"A person who has been receiving threats and whose husband is in prison can record any video."
Tikhanovskaya decided to run for president after the authorities jailed her husband, popular blogger Sergei Tikhanovsky, and barred him from contesting.
Her campaign galvanised the opposition, presenting a historic challenge to former collective farm director Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus since 1994, brooking no dissent.