Roman Protasevich: Belarus pardons activist hauled off flight

A Belarusian opposition activist arrested after his Ryanair flight was forced to land in the capital Minsk has been pardoned, state media reported.

Roman Protasevich was hauled off his flight and arrested on charges of inciting unrest in May 2021.

Earlier this month, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

It is not immediately clear what the pardon means for his jail sentence, which state media previously reported would be served in a penal colony.

The charges Mr Protasevich was sentenced for include: organising mass riots, calling for sanctions against Belarus, creating or leading an extremist group, and conspiring to seize power.

He was arrested alongside his girlfriend, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega, in May 2021 after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was suddenly diverted to Minsk by Belarusian air traffic control. They claimed there was a bomb threat.

He was then hauled from the plane and arrested.

The arrests caused an international outcry and led to the EU imposing…

Continue Reading →

This article was written by and originally published on