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Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded to immediately release Protasevych

24.05.2021, 12:26

Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded the immediate release of journalist Roman Protasevych, who has been detained on 23 of May in Belarus, as this is said by the spokesman of the Foreign Ministry Oleg Nikolenko on Twitter, as “Ukrayinska Pravda” reported.

"More worrying news coming from Belarus as we learned Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich has been detained in Minsk. This is yet another attack on freedom of expression by Belarusian authorities. We demand his immediate release. While in detention, his rights must be upheld., ”he wrote.

Western countries have condemned Belarus for diverting a plane flying over it territory to arrest a Belarusian opposition journalist, as BBC reported.

EU leaders are due to discuss their response to what the union's executive called a "hijacking" and the US state department said was "a shocking act".

Belarus diverted a plane flying from Athens (Greece) and which was due to land in Vilnius (Lithuania) over its territory, claiming a bomb threat.

On May 23, security forces detained Roman Protasevich, one of the founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, at Minsk airport. 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 him.

Together with Protasevich, security forces detained his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.

As IMI reported, the State Security Committee of Belarus entered the founders of the NEXTA Telegram Channel to the list of persons involved in terrorist activities, along with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s leaders and other international terrorists.

An updated version of the List of organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities has been published on the website of the State Security Committee of the Republic of Belarus

As IMI reported, on November 16, Belarus sent a note to the Polish side demanding immediate extradition of Stepan Putyl and Roman Protasevich. 

On November 5, the Investigative Committee of Belarus accused Stepan Putylo and Roman Protasevich of organizing mass riots in Belarus. 

On October 20, the Tsentralny District Court of Minsk found the Nexta Live telegram channel and the Nexta logo to be extremist. 

The telegram channel Nexta Live, which covers the protests in Belarus  has been renamed as "HEXTA-Live", after a Minsk court recognized his logo as "extremist stuff."

On August 14, it became known that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus had opened proceedings against the founder of the opposition telegram channels Nekhta and Nekhta Live, Stepan Putylo and declared him wanted. He faces up to 15 years in prison. Putyla is accused of organizing mass riots.

In August, Russia's Interior Ministry put Stepan Putilo, the founder of the Nexta Telegram channel on a wanted list.

The telegram channel Nexta Live, despite the shutdown of the Internet, became the main source of information about the protests in Belarus.

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