Tag: Roman Protasevich

Belarusian Dissident Arrested in Plane Grounding Appears to Resurface Online

MOSCOW—Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protasevich appeared to resurface on Twitter on Wednesday, less than two weeks after being moved to house arrest, and denied suggestions that he had been tortured by the authorities. Protasevich, a critic of veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko and his crackdown on the opposition, was arrested along with his girlfriend in Minsk…


Belarus Oppositionists Cry Foul After ‘Embassies’ Suspended on Twitter

BERLIN—Twitter has suspended the accounts of a group of exile opposition groups that call themselves the “Belarusian People’s Embassies” after they were accused of identity theft by Belarusian authorities. The people’s embassy movement sprang up after last year’s presidential election, in which long-serving strongman Alexander Lukashenko claimed a resounding victory despite a widespread belief that…


Belarus Introduces Prison Sentences for Taking Part in Protests

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday signed into law prison sentences for people taking part in protests or insulting state officials, part of an unprecedented crackdown by the veteran leader since a disputed election last year. In a series of amendments to the criminal code, Lukashenko also for the first time introduced a four-year prison…


EU Bans Belarus Airlines as Opposition Urges G7 Sanctions

BRUSSELS/WARSAW—Belarus carriers will be banned from flying over European Union territory or having access to its airports from Friday, the bloc said, as the country’s exiled opposition leader called for more joint Western sanctions. The EU decision is part of planned punitive measures against Belarus in response to Minsk scrambling a warplane to force the…


Opposition: Belarusian Dissident Forced to Confess on TV

WARSAW, Poland—The Belarusian opposition said Friday a dissident journalist was coerced to appear in a video on state TV in which he wept and praised the country’s authoritarian ruler. In the 90-minute video aired Thursday night, 26-year-old Roman Protasevich repented for his opposition activities and said he respects Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko as “a man…


Detained Belarusian Dissident Says He Was Set up by an Associate

KYIV, Ukraine—A dissident journalist arrested when Belarus diverted his flight said in a video from prison that he was set up by an unidentified associate. The footage of Roman Protasevich was part of an hour-long documentary aired late Wednesday by the state-controlled ONT channel. In the film, the 26-year-old Protasevich is also shown saying that…


Belarus ‘Hijacking’ Set in Context of ‘More Assertive’ Russia, Says NATO Chief

Sanctions against Belarus for the “hijacking” of a passenger plane carrying a journalist who had been critical of the Lukashenko regime must be “fully implemented,” the head of NATO has said. Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg met Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street on Wednesday and the pair discussed the future of the alliance ahead of…


German Lawmaker Warns of ‘Spiral of Sanctions’ Against Belarus

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned of “a long and severe spiral of sanctions” as EU foreign ministers met on Thursday to discuss further sanctions against Belarus. The Belarusian regime sparked strong reactions from the West after it intercepted a Ryanair flight flying over its airspace on Sunday and arrested two people onboard—26-year-old opposition journalist Roman…


Plan Needed to Tackle Outrages by Gangster Regimes: Ex-defence Chief

Britain needs a long-term plan is tackle “criminal outrages by gangster regimes,” a former military chief has said. Lord Stirrup made the call at Westminster as he argued that the “egregious act” of Belarus forcing the diversion of a passenger jet to arrest a journalist and prominent government critic was not an isolated incident. The…


UK’s Johnson Warns Belarus After Release of ‘Deeply Distressing’ Confession Video of Journalist

The UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned Belarus that the country’s actions “will have consequences” after it released a video of arrested dissident Roman Protasevich which Johnson said is “deeply distressing.” In a video released by Belarusian authorities on Monday evening, Protasevich appeared to admit he was involved in organising mass protests in Minsk last year….