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Dissident pulled off aircraft by Belarus will get 8 years in jail

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TALLINN, Estonia — A courtroom in Belarus convicted a dissident journalist who was arrested after being pulled off a commercial flight that was diverted to the nation and sentenced him Wednesday to eight years in jail.

Raman Pratasevich’s dramatic arrest in Could 2021 elicited outrage in the West, with some leaders saying the aircraft’s diversion was tantamount to state-sponsored hijacking.

Belarusian flight controllers ordered the Ryanair jetliner touring from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk, telling the crew there was a bomb risk towards the flight. No explosives have been discovered on board as soon as the airliner was on the bottom, however Pratasevich, a Belarusian citizen who lived in exile on the time, was detained.

His Russian girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, was additionally arrested. The aircraft then was allowed to proceed on to its authentic vacation spot.

In response to the pressured diversion, a number of Western international locations imposed a raft of latest sanctions and barred their planes from flying over Belarus.

Pratasevich ran Nexta, a Telegram messaging app channel that was broadly utilized by members in mass protests towards the disputed 2020 election that gave authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth time period in workplace. He was charged with organizing unrest and plotting to grab energy.

Nexta is likely one of the most well-known opposition retailers. Along with its sister channel, Nexta Stay, it has 1.4 million followers.

The founding father of the Telegram channel, Stsiapan Putsila, and one other editor of the channel, Yan Rudzik, have been sentenced in absentia to twenty and 19 years in jail respectfully. Each stay in exile.

After the arrest, Pratasevich went on Belarusian state tv a number of instances to admit, denounce the opposition and apologize to Lukashenko — appearances that critics mentioned have been made beneath duress. Each Pratasevich and his girlfriend, Sapega, have been later launched from custody and put beneath home arrest.

In Could 2022, Sapega was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in jail. Three days later, a message on a Telegram channel billed as belonging to Pratasevich sought to distance him from Sapega — saying that they had separated lengthy earlier than and that he was married to another person.

The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm whether or not the put up was freely written by Pratasevich or any of the claims it contained.

Sapega, within the meantime, petitioned Belarusian authorities to extradite her to her residence nation, Russia, to serve out the rest of her sentence. The Belarusian authorities agreed. It wasn’t instantly clear when which may occur.

Belarus’ opposition chief in exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, referred to as the sentences to Pratasevich, Putsila and Rudzik “disregard for justice” on the a part of “the Belarus regime,” which carried out “a pretend trial.”

Pratasevich, Tsikhanouskaya mentioned in a tweet, has “been the regime’s hostage for the reason that Ryanair (aircraft) hijacking.”

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TALLINN, Estonia — A courtroom in Belarus convicted a dissident journalist who was arrested after being pulled off a commercial flight that was diverted to the nation and sentenced him Wednesday to eight years in jail.

Raman Pratasevich’s dramatic arrest in Could 2021 elicited outrage in the West, with some leaders saying the aircraft’s diversion was tantamount to state-sponsored hijacking.

Belarusian flight controllers ordered the Ryanair jetliner touring from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk, telling the crew there was a bomb risk towards the flight. No explosives have been discovered on board as soon as the airliner was on the bottom, however Pratasevich, a Belarusian citizen who lived in exile on the time, was detained.

His Russian girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, was additionally arrested. The aircraft then was allowed to proceed on to its authentic vacation spot.

In response to the pressured diversion, a number of Western international locations imposed a raft of latest sanctions and barred their planes from flying over Belarus.

Pratasevich ran Nexta, a Telegram messaging app channel that was broadly utilized by members in mass protests towards the disputed 2020 election that gave authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth time period in workplace. He was charged with organizing unrest and plotting to grab energy.

Nexta is likely one of the most well-known opposition retailers. Along with its sister channel, Nexta Stay, it has 1.4 million followers.

The founding father of the Telegram channel, Stsiapan Putsila, and one other editor of the channel, Yan Rudzik, have been sentenced in absentia to twenty and 19 years in jail respectfully. Each stay in exile.

After the arrest, Pratasevich went on Belarusian state tv a number of instances to admit, denounce the opposition and apologize to Lukashenko — appearances that critics mentioned have been made beneath duress. Each Pratasevich and his girlfriend, Sapega, have been later launched from custody and put beneath home arrest.

In Could 2022, Sapega was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in jail. Three days later, a message on a Telegram channel billed as belonging to Pratasevich sought to distance him from Sapega — saying that they had separated lengthy earlier than and that he was married to another person.

The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm whether or not the put up was freely written by Pratasevich or any of the claims it contained.

Sapega, within the meantime, petitioned Belarusian authorities to extradite her to her residence nation, Russia, to serve out the rest of her sentence. The Belarusian authorities agreed. It wasn’t instantly clear when which may occur.

Belarus’ opposition chief in exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, referred to as the sentences to Pratasevich, Putsila and Rudzik “disregard for justice” on the a part of “the Belarus regime,” which carried out “a pretend trial.”

Pratasevich, Tsikhanouskaya mentioned in a tweet, has “been the regime’s hostage for the reason that Ryanair (aircraft) hijacking.”

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TALLINN, Estonia — A courtroom in Belarus convicted a dissident journalist who was arrested after being pulled off a commercial flight that was diverted to the nation and sentenced him Wednesday to eight years in jail.

Raman Pratasevich’s dramatic arrest in Could 2021 elicited outrage in the West, with some leaders saying the aircraft’s diversion was tantamount to state-sponsored hijacking.

Belarusian flight controllers ordered the Ryanair jetliner touring from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk, telling the crew there was a bomb risk towards the flight. No explosives have been discovered on board as soon as the airliner was on the bottom, however Pratasevich, a Belarusian citizen who lived in exile on the time, was detained.

His Russian girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, was additionally arrested. The aircraft then was allowed to proceed on to its authentic vacation spot.

In response to the pressured diversion, a number of Western international locations imposed a raft of latest sanctions and barred their planes from flying over Belarus.

Pratasevich ran Nexta, a Telegram messaging app channel that was broadly utilized by members in mass protests towards the disputed 2020 election that gave authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth time period in workplace. He was charged with organizing unrest and plotting to grab energy.

Nexta is likely one of the most well-known opposition retailers. Along with its sister channel, Nexta Stay, it has 1.4 million followers.

The founding father of the Telegram channel, Stsiapan Putsila, and one other editor of the channel, Yan Rudzik, have been sentenced in absentia to twenty and 19 years in jail respectfully. Each stay in exile.

After the arrest, Pratasevich went on Belarusian state tv a number of instances to admit, denounce the opposition and apologize to Lukashenko — appearances that critics mentioned have been made beneath duress. Each Pratasevich and his girlfriend, Sapega, have been later launched from custody and put beneath home arrest.

In Could 2022, Sapega was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in jail. Three days later, a message on a Telegram channel billed as belonging to Pratasevich sought to distance him from Sapega — saying that they had separated lengthy earlier than and that he was married to another person.

The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm whether or not the put up was freely written by Pratasevich or any of the claims it contained.

Sapega, within the meantime, petitioned Belarusian authorities to extradite her to her residence nation, Russia, to serve out the rest of her sentence. The Belarusian authorities agreed. It wasn’t instantly clear when which may occur.

Belarus’ opposition chief in exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, referred to as the sentences to Pratasevich, Putsila and Rudzik “disregard for justice” on the a part of “the Belarus regime,” which carried out “a pretend trial.”

Pratasevich, Tsikhanouskaya mentioned in a tweet, has “been the regime’s hostage for the reason that Ryanair (aircraft) hijacking.”

ADVERTISEMENT



TALLINN, Estonia — A courtroom in Belarus convicted a dissident journalist who was arrested after being pulled off a commercial flight that was diverted to the nation and sentenced him Wednesday to eight years in jail.

Raman Pratasevich’s dramatic arrest in Could 2021 elicited outrage in the West, with some leaders saying the aircraft’s diversion was tantamount to state-sponsored hijacking.

Belarusian flight controllers ordered the Ryanair jetliner touring from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk, telling the crew there was a bomb risk towards the flight. No explosives have been discovered on board as soon as the airliner was on the bottom, however Pratasevich, a Belarusian citizen who lived in exile on the time, was detained.

His Russian girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, was additionally arrested. The aircraft then was allowed to proceed on to its authentic vacation spot.

In response to the pressured diversion, a number of Western international locations imposed a raft of latest sanctions and barred their planes from flying over Belarus.

Pratasevich ran Nexta, a Telegram messaging app channel that was broadly utilized by members in mass protests towards the disputed 2020 election that gave authoritarian Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a sixth time period in workplace. He was charged with organizing unrest and plotting to grab energy.

Nexta is likely one of the most well-known opposition retailers. Along with its sister channel, Nexta Stay, it has 1.4 million followers.

The founding father of the Telegram channel, Stsiapan Putsila, and one other editor of the channel, Yan Rudzik, have been sentenced in absentia to twenty and 19 years in jail respectfully. Each stay in exile.

After the arrest, Pratasevich went on Belarusian state tv a number of instances to admit, denounce the opposition and apologize to Lukashenko — appearances that critics mentioned have been made beneath duress. Each Pratasevich and his girlfriend, Sapega, have been later launched from custody and put beneath home arrest.

In Could 2022, Sapega was convicted and sentenced to 6 years in jail. Three days later, a message on a Telegram channel billed as belonging to Pratasevich sought to distance him from Sapega — saying that they had separated lengthy earlier than and that he was married to another person.

The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm whether or not the put up was freely written by Pratasevich or any of the claims it contained.

Sapega, within the meantime, petitioned Belarusian authorities to extradite her to her residence nation, Russia, to serve out the rest of her sentence. The Belarusian authorities agreed. It wasn’t instantly clear when which may occur.

Belarus’ opposition chief in exile, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, referred to as the sentences to Pratasevich, Putsila and Rudzik “disregard for justice” on the a part of “the Belarus regime,” which carried out “a pretend trial.”

Pratasevich, Tsikhanouskaya mentioned in a tweet, has “been the regime’s hostage for the reason that Ryanair (aircraft) hijacking.”

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