Belarusian opposition calls for global protests over journalists detention


He was caught on Sunday after his flight was forced to land in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, while it was traveling through the country's airspace.

In a statement released Thursday night, the governing body of ICAO instructed the ICAO Secretariat to conduct the investigation that will result in the presentation of a report to the Council at a future meeting.

We have been talking to the mother of Sofia Sapega, who was arrested alongside her journalist boyfriend when a Ryanair flight was diverted.

Natalia and Dzmitry Pratasevich at a news conference in Warsaw, Poland, today.

"Throughout his life he fought for the truth and passed it on to people, which is why Lukashenko committed this despicable act", he said.

The family and their lawyer confirmed that they have not had any communication with their son since his arrest.

Maas said sanctions must be made "effective" by targeting business sectors that are important to Belarus' economy.

"There is also the question to what extent Belarus should still be allowed to issue government bonds by the Belarusian state or by the Central Bank in Europe in the future", he added.

Many protest leaders - including now-exiled opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who claimed victory in the August vote - fled the country, and the demonstrations have dwindled.

European Union meets to decide response to Belarus 'hijacking' of Ryanair plane
The United States "strongly condemned" the arrest, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken calling for Protasevich's release. The government's main security agency in Belarus , called the KGB, placed Protasevich's name on a list of terrorists.

Christophe Deloire, the head of media rights watchdog Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters Without Borders) was also in Lithuania to file a legal complaint against Lukashenko with prosecutors investigating Sunday's incident.

Christophe Deloire (center), secretary-general and executive director of Reporters Without Borders, poses with a photo of detained journalist Roman Protasevich during a visit to the Lithuanian-Belarus border in Salcininkai, Lithuania on Thursday.

Sapega, a 23-year-old law student at the European Humanities University (EHU) in Lithuania, appeared in another video on Tuesday saying she worked for a Telegram channel that disclosed information about Belarusian law enforcement.

"It is in the interests of both Austria and Russian Federation that all flights to and via Russian Federation can continue to be carried out without any problems", the Austrian foreign ministry said in a statement.

European Union countries are banning Belarusian carriers and the European Union has also urged airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace.

Russian Federation denied entry to Air France and Austrian Airlines, forcing them to cancel flights. Both flights were cancelled.

The criticism was nothing more than another attempt by his opponents to undermine his rule, he said, accusing them of waging a "modern, hybrid war" against Belarus and of crossing "boundaries of common sense and human morality". "It is simply clear what these Western friends want from us", he said, speaking of mass election protests in Belarus in 2020.

Hours before a scheduled meeting in the Russian seaside resort of Sochi with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, his only major global ally, the Belarusian leader warned he would allow migrants and drugs to pour into western Europe.

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