FILE PHOTO: Opposition blogger and activist Roman Protasevich, who’s accused of collaborating in an unsanctioned protest on the Kuropaty protect, arrives for a courtroom listening to in Minsk, Belarus April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer/File Picture
June 14, 2021
By Maria Tsvetkova
MOSCOW (Reuters) -Jailed Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich appeared at a information convention in Minsk on Monday saying he felt fantastic and had not been overwhelmed, in what the opposition stated was one other public look made below duress.
Protasevich sat alongside 4 officers, two of whom have been in uniform, saying he had not been made to cooperate with the authorities and that he was in good well being after being arrested final month when his Ryanair flight was pressured to land in Minsk.
“All the pieces is ok with me. No one beat me, no person touched me,” he stated. “I perceive the harm I’ve prompted not solely to the state, but in addition to the nation. Now I wish to do all the pieces in my energy to rectify this example.”
Protasevich has made a number of appearances since his airplane was pressured to land in Minsk whereas on a Might 23 flight from Greece to Lithuania by way of Belarusian air area. He has admitted to plotting to topple President Alexander Lukashenko by organising “riots” and recanted earlier criticism of the veteran chief.
“It doesn’t matter what he says, let’s not overlook: he’s a hostage. And the regime is utilizing him as a trophy,” Franak Viacorka, a senior adviser to exiled Belarusian opposition determine Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, wrote on Twitter.
“This isn’t a press convention however a scene of both Kafka or Orwell.”
Belarus of the Mind, the running a blog outlet that Protasevich ran earlier than his arrest, stated his newest look was made below duress and confirmed the “strongest psychological strain” being exerted on the 26-year-old.
Beforehand, authorities stated Protasevich is an extremist who has facilitated violence. They’ve maintained that televised confessions by members of the opposition have been made voluntarily.
Protasevich’s arrest and the pressured diversion of the Ryanair airplane sparked uproar within the West, feeding requires more durable sanctions to be placed on Lukashenko’s authorities.
In energy since 1994, Lukashenko launched a violent crackdown on mass protests after successful a sixth time period in an election final yr that his opponents say was blatantly rigged. He denies electoral fraud.
(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; writing by Matthias Williams; enhancing by Giles Elgood and Mark Heinrich)