europe

A state-sponsored ‘hijacking’ – the arrest of Belarus blogger Raman Pratasevich


Belarusian journalist Hanna Liubakova examines why Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, apparently diverted a Ryanair flight in order to arrest 26-year-old blogger Raman Pratasevich. Guardian Moscow correspondent, Andrew Roth, discusses the fallout from Lukashenko’s action

Anushka Asthana talks to the Belarusian journalist Hanna Liubakova about the 26-year-old opposition blogger Raman Pratasevich and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Sofia Sapega. On Sunday their Ryanair flight, which was meant to be flying to Lithuania, was forced to make an emergency landing in Minsk and they were arrested. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader, told the European parliament on Wednesday that Lukashenko was “turning the country into the North Korea of Europe: non-transparent, unpredictable and dangerous”.

Anushka also talks to the Guardian’s Moscow correspondent Andrew Roth about the international reaction to what has been called a ‘state-sponsored hijacking’. The British government has told all UK planes to cease flying over Belarus, while the EU has imposed new economic sanctions. Kremlin officials have offered only muted support over the incident.

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