The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has “sharply” condemned the Belarusian government for the emergency landing of a flight in Minsk, whose planned route between Athens and Vilnius was bombed, in order to arrest a Belarusian journalist.
Blinken has issued a statement calling for the “immediate release” of Roman Protasevich and denouncing that this “terrible act by the (Alexander) Lukashenko regime endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including US citizens”.
According to detailed information from Washington, the first reports indicate the participation of the Belarusian security services and the use of Belarusian military aircraft to escort the aircraft. These measures have been labeled “of deep concern” and therefore require “a thorough investigation”.
In addition to “close” coordination with the EU and the Lithuanian and Greek authorities, Blinken has asked the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization to meet as soon as possible to investigate these facts, as there are indications that “the forced landing false deceptions occurred under “. “
The plane made an emergency landing in Minsk following a suspected bombing hazard that detained journalist Román Protasevich, one of the founders of the Nexta telegram channel, who played a key role in coordinating the protests following the re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko denouncing the opposition at.
Last November, the Belarusian Security Committee (KGB) put Protasevich and another Nexta founder, Stepan Putilo, on its list of people involved in terrorist attacks.
In this vein, the US Secretary of State has defended that “the independent media is an essential pillar of support for the rule of law and an integral part of a democratic society,” for which the United States “re-condemns the continuing harassment and conviction” through the arbitrary detention of journalists the Lukashenko regime. “