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Belarusian Activist Roman Protasevich Sentenced To Eight Years In Jail

Belarusian activist Roman Protasevich sentenced to eight years in jail, who was arrested last year after his Ryanair flight was diverted to Minsk, has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Author:Hajra Shannon
Reviewer:Paula M. Graham
May 04, 202312 Shares11.8K Views
Belarusian activist Roman Protasevich sentenced to eight years in jail, who was arrested last year after his Ryanair flight was diverted to Minsk, has been sentenced to eight years in prison.
The sentence was handed down on Monday, August 1, 2023, by a Belarusian court, which found him guilty of organizing mass riots and fomenting unrest in the country.

Who Is Roman Protasevich?

Protasevich is a 26-year-old Belarusian dissident who rose to prominence during the 2020 Belarusian protests.
He was a co-founder of the NEXTA Live Telegram channel, which played a key role in organizing and documenting the demonstrations against the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.
The protests were met with a violent crackdown by the Belarusian authorities, and Protasevich went into exile in Lithuania.
Stepan Putilo, a fellow dissident who was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison on Thursday, founded the channel. Mr. Putilo is in exile in Poland at present.
Nexta and Nexta Live were used to organize the largest demonstrations in Belarus's history, which occurred in 2020.
After Mr. Protasevich's detention, his family claimed that he was compelled to make false confessions and apologize on state television.
In a single public appearance, he extolled the Belarusian leader and confessed to trying to overthrow him. His public criticism of the Belarusian opposition has fueled rumors that he is under intense duress from the government.
Since 1994, the same leader, Mr. Lukashenko, has governed Belarus. In 2020, he defied months of protests as opposition politicians and activists were detained and jailed.

Belarus Dissident blogger Roman Protasevich sentenced to 8 years in prison | Oneindia News

Background

On May 23, 2021, Protasevich was on board a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius when it was diverted to Minsk by Belarusian authorities, who claimed there was a bomb threat on board.
Protasevich and his girlfriend, who was also on the flight, were arrested upon landing. The incident was widely condemned by the international community as an act of air piracy.

The Sentence

On Monday, August 1, 2023, a court in Belarus sentenced Protasevich to eight years in prison. Mr. Protasevich was charged with organizing mass demonstrations, calling for sanctions against Belarus, forming or commanding an extremist group, and plotting to usurp power.
Protasevich, who has been held in custody since his arrest, appeared in court wearing a prison uniform and pleaded guilty to the charges against him.

International Reaction

The sentence has been widely condemned by the international community, with many countries and organizations calling for Protasevich's release.
The European Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom have all issued statements condemning the verdict and calling for Protasevich's immediate release.
The United Nations has also expressed concern about the human rights situation in Belarus.

Final Words

The sentencing of Roman Protasevich to eight years in prison has been met with widespread condemnation from the international community.
The Belarusian authorities have been accused of using the legal system to silence political opposition and dissent.
The case has also raised concerns about the safety of air travel and the use of international airspace for political purposes. The fate of Protasevich and the future of Belarus remain uncertain.
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Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

Author
Paula M. Graham

Paula M. Graham

Reviewer
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