On Sunday 23/5, a Ryanair plane that 'took off' from Athens, bound for Vilnius, Lithuania, made an emergency landing in Minsk, Belarus. Authorities alerted the aircraft crew to a 'potential safety hazard inside the aircraft', according to a Ryanair executive.
To be precise, the crew was notified of a possible bomb. That was not the truth. However, it served the purpose of the Belarusians, which was to arrest a dissident journalist.
But who is the journalist?
Roman Protassevitch, Belarusian reporter and wanted in his home country as a 'terrorist'. In fact, Protassevitch was wanted by the government of Alexander Lukashenko because he "dared" to record and broadcast events that did not agree with the "wants" of the country's first citizen.
The journalist worked for Nexta Live, a television station based in Poland, last year. It belongs to the 'network' of Telegram and has more than 1,000,000 subscribers.The network broached the Lukashenko's presidency and it played a role in the 2020 protests. The protests were held to condemn the practice by which Lukashenko remained in your position - and it involved vote rigging.
Who is Alexander Lukashenko?
Alexander Lukashenko is the first man in Belarus since 1994 and have classified as the last dictator in Europe. The last time the planet had a chance to meet or remember who Alexander Lukashenko is, was when the pandemic changed our lives. He condemned the psychosis that the whole world has suffered with Covid-19, which according to him "is defeated by sauna, vodka and faith in God". Also "it is better to die standing, than to live lying on your knees".
Last February, two Belarusian journalists were sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty because they also had the 'audacity' to cover the 2020 anti-government protests. In all, more than 400 journalists were arrested over the six months. Ten face criminal charges and remain in custody.
His opponents either disappear or flee the country, the only country in Europe where the death penalty is still in force
Today, Protasevitis is currently being held in Belarusian prisons and through a video he admits his involvement in the organization of mass mobilizations last year in Belarus.
At a press conference in Tallinn, Tikhanovskaya said that according to a lawyer who visited Protasevitis, the journalist was fine. However, she estimates that "it is doubtful because she has definitely been tortured, she has definitely been beaten".
European leaders stated that it was an 'attack on democracy'.Possible sanctions could include the suspension of European airlines' flights over Belarus, the ban on Belavia - Belarus Airlines - anywhere in Europe, and the suspension of all transits affecting that country.
Also, Lukashenko's relationship with Putin is directly dependent.Belarus declared after the 2020 election victory with 80% "Russia was and still is our closest ally "regardless of who is in the leadership of the countries and although Moscow preferred to develop the fraternal relationship into a partnership."