Belarus diverts Ryanair aircraft to arrest dissident journalist; secret police current on flight, says airline CEO-World Information , Alenz
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
Dublin: Belarus secret police are believed to have been current when a dissident journalist was detained when his aircraft was diverted to Minsk, the top of the Irish airline stated 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 govt Michael O’Leary instructed Eire’s Newstalk radio.
“We imagine there have been some (Belarusian safety company) KGB brokers offloaded on the airport as effectively.”
Dublin-headquartered Ryanair is famend for ultra-low-cost, short-haul flights throughout the continental bloc.
Favoured by price range 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 stated.
“It was a state-sponsored hijacking, it was state-sponsored piracy.”
The Irish authorities additionally blamed Belarus for the diversion and referred to as for a tricky response from Brussels.
“We can’t enable this incident to move on the idea of warnings or robust press releases,” Irish Overseas Minister Simon Coveney instructed state broadcaster RTE.
“I believe there needs to be actual edge to the sanctions which are utilized on the again of this.”
EU leaders are to fulfill in a while Monday and are anticipated to toughen sanctions towards the jap European state.
“It was an Irish airline, a aircraft that was registered in Poland, stuffed with EU nationals, travelling between two EU capitals,” Coveney stated.
“This will solely be described as aviation piracy,” he added.
“I believe the EU has to provide a really clear response to it in any other case we’re giving all of the fallacious alerts.”
“We demand an instantaneous worldwide investigation,” exiled Belarus opposition chief Svetlana Tikhanovskaya instructed RTE.
“The escalation of violence in Belarus is the results of impunity, so we have now to place far more strain on the regime.”
Protasevich’s pal, Franak Viacorka in the meantime instructed BBC radio in London there was “no risk of coincidence… no risk that this aircraft was moved to Minsk due to different causes”.
Viacorka stated he was in contact together with his pal earlier than he left Athens and stated Protasevich was involved that he was being adopted within the airport.
“I am unable to think about what’s occurring to him proper now,” he added.
“His girlfriend was arrested with him. She’s a Russian citizen. They each had 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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