Belarus diverts Ryanair plane to arrest dissident journalist; secret police present on flight, says airline CEO-World News , Novi Reporter

Belarus diverts Ryanair airplane to arrest dissident journalist; secret police current on flight, says airline CEO-World Information , Novi Reporter

Roman Protasevich was held on Sunday after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted by a Belarusian fighter jet and diverted to the capital of Minsk, State TV reported

Belarus diverts Ryanair plane to arrest dissident journalist; secret police present on flight, says airline CEO

A Belarusian canine handler checks luggages off a Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS (flight quantity FR4978) parked on Minsk Worldwide Airport’s apron in Minsk, on Might 23, 2021. AFP

Dublin: Belarus secret police are believed to have been current when a dissident journalist was detained when his airplane was diverted to Minsk, the top of the Irish airline mentioned on Monday.

Roman Protasevich was held on Sunday after a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius was intercepted by a Belarusian fighter jet and diverted to the capital of Minsk, state TV reported.

“It seems the intent of the authorities was to take away a journalist and his travelling companion,” Ryanair chief government Michael O’Leary advised Eire’s Newstalk radio.

“We imagine there have been some (Belarusian safety company) KGB brokers offloaded on the airport as properly.”

Dublin-headquartered Ryanair is famend for ultra-low-cost, short-haul flights throughout the continental bloc.

Favoured by funds holidaymakers, the service is an unlikely participant in a high-stakes diplomatic disaster.

“I believe it is the primary time it is occurred to a European airline,” O’Leary mentioned.

“It was a state-sponsored hijacking, it was state-sponsored piracy.”

The Irish authorities additionally blamed Belarus for the diversion and known as for a troublesome response from Brussels.

“We can’t enable this incident to go on the premise of warnings or robust press releases,” Irish Overseas Minister Simon Coveney advised state broadcaster RTE.

“I believe there must be actual edge to the sanctions which can be utilized on the again of this.”

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EU leaders are to satisfy afterward Monday and are anticipated to toughen sanctions in opposition to the jap European state.

“It was an Irish airline, a airplane that was registered in Poland, filled with EU nationals, travelling between two EU capitals,” Coveney mentioned.

“This may solely be described as aviation piracy,” he added.

“I believe the EU has to offer a really clear response to it in any other case we’re giving all of the fallacious indicators.”

“We demand a right away worldwide investigation,” exiled Belarus opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya advised RTE.

“The escalation of violence in Belarus is the results of impunity, so we have now to place way more strain on the regime.”

Protasevich’s good friend, Franak Viacorka in the meantime advised BBC radio in London there was “no chance of coincidence… no chance that this airplane was moved to Minsk due to different causes”.

Viacorka mentioned he was in contact together with his good friend earlier than he left Athens and mentioned Protasevich was involved that he was being adopted within the airport.

“I can not think about what’s taking place to him proper now,” he added.

“His girlfriend was arrested with him. She’s a Russian citizen. They each have been taken on the identical flight… They are going to be taking revenge, they are going to be punishing them each.”

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