Belarus: Roman Protasevich seems in new video after arrest following ‘state-sponsored hijacking’

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A Belarusian opposition activist arrested after the Ryanair aircraft he was once travelling on was once compelled to land in Minsk in a “state-sponsored hijacking” has gave the impression in a brand new video.

Journalist Roman Protasevich’s flight from Athens in Greece was once diverted from its scheduled vacation spot of Vilnius, Lithuania, to the Belarusian capital at the orders of President Alexander Lukashenko.

In the most recent photos launched by means of Belarusian government, Mr Protasevich, who’s a distinguished critic of the dictator and is being held in prison, stated he was once in just right well being and admitted serving to to organise mass protests in Minsk final 12 months.

Dressed in a depressing best and together with his palms tightly clasped in entrance of him, he added he was once in a pre-trial detention facility within the capital and denied having center issues which have been reported on social media.

Ryanair stated Belarusian flight controllers informed the team there was once a bomb risk in opposition to the passenger airplane because it was once crossing via Belarus airspace on Sunday and ordered it to land.

A Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet was once scrambled to escort the aircraft in a brazen display of pressure by means of Mr Lukashenko, who has dominated the rustic with an iron fist for over 1 / 4 of a century and has shut ties to Russian chief Vladimir Putin.

Belarusian government then detained 26-year-old blogger Mr Protasevich, who ran a well-liked messaging app that performed a key position in serving to organise demonstrations in opposition to the dictator. The airplane was once later allowed to proceed its adventure to Lithuania.

Extra on Alexander Lukashenko

The arrest of the dissident journalist has been strongly condemned by means of the United Kingdom govt in addition to Ecu international locations and america.

EU leaders are lately assembly to talk about what motion to take in opposition to the Belarusian regime.

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Raab calls for unlock of Belarusian journalist

Overseas Secretary Dominic Raab stated the interception was once a “stunning attack on civil aviation” and extra sanctions have been being thought to be in opposition to the management, together with the suspension of power pipelines in Belarus.

He added the rustic’s ambassador in London have been summoned to the Overseas Place of business, as Mr Raab referred to as for the activist’s unlock.

Ecu Fee President Ursula von der Leyen additionally mentioned Mr Protasevich must be freed and stated €3bn in EU funding support to Belarus was once on hang and frozen till the rustic “turns into democratic”.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary referred to as Sunday’s incident a “state-sponsored hijacking” and claimed brokers from Russia’s KGB have been additionally on board.

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Lithuania’s president requires motion

Mr O’Leary stated: “I feel it is very horrifying for the team, for the passengers who have been held beneath armed guard, had their luggage searched.”

He informed Newstalk: “It was once transparent it sounds as if that the intent of the Russian government was once to take away a journalist and his travelling better half.

“We consider there was once additionally some KGB brokers offloaded from the airplane as neatly.”

Plane have now been informed by means of the British govt to steer clear of Belarusian airspace after the debatable incident.

And the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has suspended all international allows held by means of Belarusian carriers, together with state-owned airline Belavia, following the fallout.

Belarusian govt officers denied the rustic had compelled the Ryanair aircraft to divert and land in Minsk.

Igor Golub, the commander of Belarus’ air pressure and air defence, stated: “There was once completely no drive for the aircraft to switch route close to the borders of Belarus, as has been reported in more than a few resources.”

“The civil airplane had already been readying to land and was once following its route to land at Minsk 2 airport, according to the verdict taken by means of the airplane’s pilot,” he added.

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