The Ryanair Boeing 737 aircraft hijacked by Mig-29 fighter jets is the former editor-in-chief of opposition media Nexta. The EU summit, which opens on Monday night, will discuss “possible sanctions” against the country.
“Unacceptable”, “Rejected”, “Unprecedented”… On Sunday, May 23, Belarus hijacked a passenger plane and arrested the active young Belarusian opposition Roman Protassevich. The European Union countries responded immediately. Meeting at the summit in Brussels on Monday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 25, the 27-year-old head of state and government will discuss “Possible sanctions” To Belarus.
Everything starts on sunday, there is an alert “Potential threat to safety on board” It is a Boeing 737 from Ryanair. The information is transmitted by the Belarusian air traffic controller to the crew of the plane connecting Athens with the respective capitals of Greece and Lithuania, Vilnius. It’s almost one o’clock. Boeing flew over Belarusian territory and was preparing to cross the Lithuanian border when President Alexander Lukashenko decided according to his press service to send a Mig-29 fighter jet to intercept the commercial aircraft and force it to land in Minsk.
Seeing the plane change direction, the young opponent on board froze. Roman Protassevich, 26, is the former editor-in-chief of opposition media Nexta.Activist, journalist and photographer have been in exile in Lithuania since 2018 and he started working for Nexta At the end of 2019, then join in October 2020 Golovnogo Mozga, Another Belarusian news media.Since November 2020, his name has been listed by the Belarusian Security Service (KGB) “Individuals involved in terrorist activities”.
“After the plane moved suddenly, a boy started to panic and grabbed his head. Lithuanian news site Delfi anonymously quotes a passenger on the flight. There was no conflict, no scandal before the plane turned around, no one was angry. ” The plane landed in Minsk. According to the same witness, all passengers got out of the car, but Roman Protassevich was put aside and searched for his belongings on the runway. ” We asked him what happened. He told us who he was and added: “I’m risking the death penalty here“. » The young man was arrested.
The former Soviet Republic was the last European country to be sentenced to death. The authorities said that the allegations against Roman Protavich and the appearance of his name on the KGB list were related to his involvement in a “mass riot” organization. According to three articles of the Belarusian Criminal Code, he is in danger of being detained for 15 years.