US President Joe Biden described the forced diversion of a commercial flight through Belarus to arrest a Belarusian dissident as a “direct violation of international standards”, an incident which he described as “outrageous”.
In this way, and through a White House statement, Biden has assured that the United States “strongly condemns the deviation of the plane and the subsequent transfer and arrest of Roman Protasevich,” a well-known Belarusian opposition, journalist.
The US leader adds that this “outrageous incident and the video that Protasevich appears to have made under duress are shameful attacks on both political disagreement and freedom of the press,” so Washington is joining countries around the world, who are also demanding his release as the hundreds of political prisoners wrongly arrested by the Alexander Lukashenko regime. “
In this regard, Biden has requested “an international investigation into all the facts of the case,” while welcoming the European Union’s decision to call for “the imposition of selective economic sanctions and other measures,” which his team announced works in collaboration with the EU and its partners to “develop the right options to hold those responsible to account”.
“For months the Belarusian people have been speaking out on demands for democracy, respect for human rights and respect for fundamental freedoms. I applaud the courage and determination of the Belarusians fighting for fundamental rights, including journalists like Roman Protasevich and opposition leaders like Svetlana Tijanovskaya,” he said President, who reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to “continue to support the people of Belarus in their struggle”.
The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke to Tijanovskaya himself on Monday, to whom he conveyed “the firm support of the United States for the demands of the Belarusian people for democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms”. .
As reported by the National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne, Sullivan also praised “the courage and selfless sacrifice of democratic leaders and the hundreds of other Belarusian democratic activists, independent journalists and civil society leaders who were held in Belarusian prisons as political prisoners of Lukashenko languish.” Regime. “
Sullivan has described the forced diversion of the plane as “brazen and dangerous” and also called for the “immediate” release of Protasevich and the holding of “free and fair elections” in the country.
In the meantime, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convened an “urgent meeting” of the 36 diplomatic representatives on the ICAO Council on May 27 to reroute the Ryanair flight.