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English Section

Poland's top officials condemn Belarus for forcing plane to land and arresting activist

23.05.2021 20:26
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President Andrzej Duda have condemned Belarus for diverting a plane to the capital Minsk, where authorities detained opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, the Polish News Agency PAP has reported.
Police officers detain a journalist Roman Protasevich attempting to cover a rally in Minsk, Belarus, 26 March 2017 (reissued 23 May 2021).
Police officers detain a journalist Roman Protasevich attempting to cover a rally in Minsk, Belarus, 26 March 2017 (reissued 23 May 2021).Photo: EPA/STRINGER

According to PM Morawiecki, diverting the Ryanair plane to Minsk, was "a reprehensible act of state terrorism, which cannot be let unpunished."

The official has demanded the "immediate release" of Roman Protasevich, as well as other Belarusian and Polish opposition activists who have been arrested by the regime of Alexander Lukashenko.

Poland’s prime minister has appealed to Charles Michel, President of the European Council, to expand the agenda of the Council's Monday meeting and discuss the possibility of imposing sanctions on Belarus over the incident.

President Andrzej Duda wrote on his Twitter account that "the international community cannot remain indifferent. It is necessary to act decisively towards Belarusian authorities."

Roman Protasevich, who co-founded online opposition news service NEXTRA, was travelling on board a flight heading from Athens to Vilnus when the plane was suddenly diverted to the Belarusian capital amid an alleged bomb alert.

The Ryanair plane was subsequently escorted to Minsk by fighter jet MIG-29.

According to PAP, following the landing ordered by President Alexander Lukashenko, Protasevich was arrested on the grounds of terrorism. He could now face the death penalty in Belarus.

Source: PAP, IAR