Belarus 'Diverts Ryanair Flight To Arrest Journalist', Opposition Says

Belarus 'Diverts Ryanair Flight To Arrest Journalist', Opposition Says

A Ryanair plane from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to Belarus for several hours, with activists saying it was done to arrest a dissident journalist on board.

Andrew H. Sweet
  • European nations reacted with outrage, accusing Belarus of "state terrorism."
  • The ex-editor of the Nexta group, Roman Protasevich, was detained before the plane was allowed to resume its flight.
  • Belarus media said a MiG-29 escorted the jet to Minsk because of a bomb scare, but no explosives were found.
  • Belarus opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who was beaten by Alexander Lukashenko in presidential polls last year widely denounced as rigged, was among those demanding Mr. Protasevich's release.
  • The U.S. ambassador to Belarus, Julie Fisher, tweeted that it was "abhorrent" Mr. Lukashenko had faked a bomb threat and sent fighter jets to arrest a journalist.
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said this was a "serious and dangerous incident." Both Latvia and Lithuania said the airspace over Belarus should be recognized as unsafe.

Read the original story here.

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