Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY
Printed 11: 00 p.m. ET Could impartial 24, 2021
President Joe Biden on Monday slammed the arrest of a dissident journalist by the authorities of Belarus, which diverted a commercial flight over its airspace for a compelled landing in Minsk.
“Belarus’ compelled diversion of a commercial Ryanair flight, traveling between two member states of the European Union, and subsequent removal and arrest of Raman Pratasevich, a Belarusian journalist traveling abroad, are a direct affront to international norms,” Biden stated in an announcement.
He added: “The United States condemns in the strongest skill phrases each and each the diversion of the plane and the next removal and arrest of Mr. Pratasevich.”
The order added Biden to the rising international chorus expressing outrage over the actions of the Belarusian authorities, with sanctions from the European Union and rising isolation for the authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Ryanair flight carrying journalist Raman Pratasevich and 122 diversified passengers turned into once 6 miles from the Lithuanian border Sunday when it bought a bomb menace. Lukashenko in my thought ordered a MiG-29 fighter jet to accompany the return flight to Belarus, according to the presidential press provider. Pratasevich turned into once arrested at the airport, according to the Belarusian Interior Ministry.
Pratasevich, 26, faces charges that will presumably elevate a 15-one year reformatory sentence for openly opposing Lukashenko.
In an announcement, Ryanair stated Belarusian air visitors elevate watch over instantaneous the plane to return to the capital, Minsk. The plane turned into once cleared for provider after being grounded for seven hours. No bombs contain been found.
Months of protests followed an election final August that granted Lukashenko his sixth time length in office. Police detained around 30,000 protesters, many of whom contain been overwhelmed. Pratasevich’s arrest follows the detainment of 11 workers members of a Belarusian info web pages.
The incident has drawn intriguing criticism around the sector. European Council President Charles Michel referred to as for the International Civil Aviation Group to launch an investigation, and on Monday the European Union banned Belarusian airways from utilizing its airspace and airports.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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