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ICAO recognizes the forced landing of Pratasevich's flight as an "act of unlawful interference"

20.07.2022, 17:12

In their final report on the investigation into the forced landing of the Ryanair passenger flight carrying Raman Pratasevich in Minsk on May 23, 2021, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recognized the actions of the Belarusian authorities as "an act of unlawful interference," reports Liga.

The ICAO Council said the bomb threat regarding Ryanair flight FR4978 was deliberately untrue and put the flight's safety at risk. At the same time, the organization emphasizes that the threat of an explosion was reported to the plane's crew upon direct instructions from high-ranking officials in Belarus.

It is emphasized that the ICAO was forced to continue the investigation in January largely due to Belarus's refusal to provide the requested information, and therefore the investigation was conducted only in relation to the aviation incident and did not concern the related issues, in particular the arrest of Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega, who were on the plane.

As IMI reported, in January 2022, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) stated that the threat of an explosion which the Belarusian authorities used to justify the landing of the Ryanair airliner in Minsk, was "deliberately false."

Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich was detained on May 23. He was a passenger on the Athens-Vilnius flight, which landed in Minsk due to a report of a bomb on board. After the inspection, Belarusian police arrested Protasevich. Ryanair has received instructions from Belarusian air traffic controllers to land the plane in Minsk. At Lukashenko's request, a MiG-29 military jet was lifted into the sky to escort the plane. Together with Protasevich, the law enforcers detained his girlfriend Sophia Sapega.

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