Belarus arrested a journalist on Sunday after a passenger plane the journalist was landed in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
Ryanair’s aircraft had taken off from Athens earlier that day and was on its way to the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. The pilot was called by the Belarusian Air Force to make an emergency landing in Minsk, because the government had received a bomb threat for the aircraft.
During a search of the plane, no bomb was found, but on board journalist Roman Protasevic was arrested. 26-year-old Protasevic works for the Telegram chanel Nexta, which is critical of the way Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.
The Belarusian government has labeled Nexta as extremist. It is forbidden by law to distribute articles and information from the platform in the country. According to the government, Protasevic was on a list of individuals linked to terrorist activities.
Opposition parties in Belarus claim that the bomb threat was a fake and merely served as a cover for the Belarusian regime to arrest a critical journalist. Lithuania has asked NATO and the European Union to intervene.