Female friend of dissident journalist Roman Protasevich seems in detention video

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A tender girl detained together with dissident journalist Roman Protasevich has seemed in a video recorded at a Belarusian detention centre.

Sofia Sapega, a 23-year-old a Russian citizen, used to be with Mr Protasevich, 26, when Belarusian government compelled their Ryanair flight to land in Minsk, as a substitute of its scheduled vacation spot in Lithuania.

Russia’s international ministry mentioned on Tuesday that she faces fees “in reference to the suspicion of getting dedicated, between August and September 2020, offences beneath a number of articles of the Belarusian Felony Code”.

Her detention used to be reportedly prolonged for 2 months and he or she seemed in a video posted on a Telegram channel aligned with the Belarusian authoritarian president, Alexander Lukashenko.

Within the video, she admitted being the editor of a social media channel which has printed private data of Belarusian regulation enforcement staff – a criminal offense in Belarus.

She advised the digicam: “I’m Sapega Sofia Andreevna, I used to be born on 10 February, 1998.

“I’m citizen of the Russian Federation, I reside in Lithuania – Vilnius.

“On 23 Might, 2021 I flew at the similar airplane with Roman Protasevich.

“I’m additionally editor of Telegram channel Chernaya Kniga which publishes personal details about interior affairs officials.”

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Protasevich seems in video after arrest

Ms Sapega’s mom Anna Dudich advised Reuters information company that her daughter used to be blameless and were within the fallacious position on the fallacious time.

The RIA information company cited Russia’s embassy to Belarus as announcing Ms Sapega used to be neatly and has now not complained of irrelevant remedy.

Ms Sapega, a scholar in Vilnius, were in Greece with Mr Protasevich for a vacation however her college mentioned she used to be returning to the Lithuanian capital to protect her grasp’s thesis forward of commencement.

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‘Lukashenko does not have a political long term’

Mr Protasevich, who may be primarily based in Lithuania, seemed on a video on Monday admitting he had performed a job in establishing anti-government protests in Minsk remaining yr.

His father Dzmitry Protasevich noticed the video from his house in Poland, and brushed aside it as the results of coercion.

Mr Protasevich’s social media feed were probably the most few unbiased retailers for information about Belarus since Mr Lukashenko declared victory in an election remaining August brushed aside by way of many as fraudulent.

The outcome induced anti-government protests and about 35,000 other people were arrested since then.

In the meantime, the act of forcing the airplane to land has persevered to carry penalties for Belarusian government, as some airways started keeping off the rustic’s airspace and refusing to land in – or go away from – the rustic.

Mr Protasevich and Ms Sapega had been amongst greater than 100 passengers on board the flight from Athens, Greece, when it used to be diverted at the orders of Mr Lukashenko on Sunday.

Ryanair mentioned Belarusian flight controllers advised the group there used to be a bomb risk in opposition to the airplane and ordered it to land, whilst government despatched a warplane as an escort.

Western powers have described the transfer as “state piracy” and feature referred to as for Mr Protasevich to be launched.

They’ve additionally threatened the previous Soviet republic with more difficult sanctions.

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