Independent news has never been so important.

Did you know that you can get Democracy Now! delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our Daily News Digest today! Don't worry, we'll never share or sell your information.

Belarus Uses Fake Bomb Threat to Divert Plane and Arrest Journalist Critical of President

HeadlineMay 24, 2021

International leaders are accusing Belarus of “state terrorism” and “hijacking” after it ordered a commercial flight be diverted to Minsk, using a fake bomb threat, so it could arrest a journalist critical of President Alexander Lukashenko. The Ryanair jet had been flying from Athens to Lithuania, where 26-year-old journalist Roman Protasevich has been living. He ran social media for the outlet Nexta, which covered the violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Belarus last year following the highly contested reelection of Lukashenko. Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who also operates in exile from Lithuania, spoke out against the arrest.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya: “Today, Lukashenko personally caused an international scandal, used military aircraft against civilians in Belarus and European countries to reprise a single person. No one else is safe. Anyone can be in Roman Protasevich’s place.”

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Top