A Day After a Belarusian Dissident's 'Confession,' His Girlfriend Makes Her Own


It's therefore thought to be unlikely that the Belarusian dictator would make such an audacious move without the Russian leader's blessing.

Roman Protasevich, the man arrested, is a co-founder of the Telegram messaging app's Nexta channel, which Belarus past year classified as an extremist organisation after it was used to help organise major protests against Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president.

Biden made the statement - and joined calls for an global investigation - as the European Union imposed sanctions against Belarus, including banning its airlines from using the airspace and airports in the 27-nation bloc in reaction to Sunday's forced diversion of the Lithuania-bound Ryanair flight.

"Therefore, there have been no announcements from the Swiss authorities to the Belarusian authorities on this matter".

The 26-year-old activist co-ran the Nexta Telegram channels, prominent voices of the opposition that helped mobilise and coordinate protesters.

Europe's aviation regulator today urged all airlines to avoid Belarus airspace for safety reasons, saying the forced diversion of a Ryanair flight had put in question the country's ability to provide safe skies.

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The city sits 56th in the league table of highest rates in the country, with a rate of 31.1 cases per 100,000 people. Now the programme is delivering about 30,000-35,000 a week with more than 380,00 having had their first jab.

Lukashenko has faced unprecedented pressure at home with months of protests following his reelection to a sixth term in an August 2020 vote that the opposition rejects as rigged. More measures could follow after the brazen capture of Roman Pratasevich.

After his detention, the journalist was seen in a brief video clip on Belarusian state television late Monday, speaking rapidly to say that he was confessing to some of the charges authorities have levelled against him. His father said the confession was coerced. After landing in Minsk, police arrested 26-year-old Roman Protasevich, a journalist who covered recent demonstrations calling for an end to the 27-year rule of Alexander Lukashenko.

She said that her son's nose appeared broken and makeup appeared to be covering up bruises in a video released of him in custody in which he says he has confessed to some of the charges against him.

President Joe Biden applauded European Union sanctions and said he ordered his administration to hold Belarus accountable.

"This outrageous incident and the video Mr. Pratasevich appears to have made under duress are shameful assaults on both political dissent and the freedom of the press", Biden said in a statement.

As world leaders have denounced Belarus's actions as state-sanctioned hijacking, Russian Federation has continued to offer Belarus support following the incident, and dismissed suspicions of its involvement as "obsessive Russophobia". CBS News foreign correspondent Charlie D'Agata reports.