Tuesday, July 5

Roman Protasevich and his partner are released from jail and are placed under house arrest

Correspondent in Moscow



The Belarusian opposition journalist, Romanian Protasévich, and his partner, the Russian Sofia Sapega, both kidnapped by President Alexander Lukashenko on May 23 when the Ryanair plane in which they were traveling from Athens to Vilna was forced to land in Minsk, they left the respective detention centers where they were confined to be placed under house arrest . The arrest of both, forcing a passenger plane to change its course under the threat of a combat plane, raised a huge international dust a month ago.

Sapega had spent several days in a rented apartment in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, according to her parents after visiting her, and Protasevich, former director of the opposition publication NEXTA, arrived today on a different floor to stay in house arrest after leaving the KGB dungeons, a name still preserved by the country’s secret services. His father, Dmitry Protasevich, told the BBC Russian service that, despite the fact that the measure adopted is much better than being in prison, his son and his girlfriend “are still under the full control of the authorities, the charges were not dropped».

Sapega’s parents, for their part, did not want to make statements “so as not to harm her” in the current phase of the investigation against her. The Russian Embassy in Minsk confirmed that the young woman was transferred from the remand center to a rented house and it is now expected that the Russian consul received authorization to interview her.

Protests against Lukashenko

The Belarusian Committee of Instruction accuses Sapega of “inciting social hatred and discord” during protests that broke out last year against Lukashenko for falsifying the results of the presidential elections of August 9, 2020. The charges brought against Protasevich are of a similar nature and include crimes such as “organizing mass disturbances.”

The Belarusian authorities presented Protasevich on June 14 at a “Kafkaesque press conference”, according to the opposition, in which he said he felt “great”. “Nobody has hit me or touched me,” he said. Previously, on June 4, the journalist offered an interview to the Belarusian channel ONT, acknowledging that indeed instigated last year’s protests, He acknowledged being guilty of all this and was repentant.

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