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HomeNewsWorld NewsBelarusian dissident arrested in plane grounding {seems to} resurface online

Belarusian dissident arrested in plane grounding {seems to} resurface online

July 7, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protasevich {seemed to} resurface on Twitter on Wednesday, {significantly less than} {fourteen days} after being {relocated|shifted|transferred} {to accommodate} arrest, and denied {recommendations} that he {have been} tortured by the authorities.

Protasevich, a critic of veteran {innovator|head} Alexander Lukashenko and his crackdown on the opposition, was arrested {together with his} girlfriend in Minsk {on, may} 23 after authorities intercepted their Ryanair {airline flight|trip|air travel} from Athens to Vilnius and {pushed|pressured} it to {property} in the Belarusian {funds}, causing {worldwide|global} outrage.

The 26-year-{aged|older|outdated|previous}, who stands accused of organising riots, could {confront} 15 {many years|yrs} in jail if convicted.

Protasevich, who has made several appearances on Belarusian state television since his arrest, said he was answering followers’ messages himself and without supervision.

Reuters was {struggling to} verify {if the} account belonged to Protasevich or whether he was drafting his comments unassisted.

Asked by one Twitter user how he {were able to} remain upbeat while being {put through} torture, Protasevich denied {he previously} been mistreated by the authorities {during} custody.

“I {once more} repeat that {there is} no torture,” the account said. “{At the very least} it would {have already been} stupid to torture me {once the} whole world’s attention was {centered on} {the problem}.”

Belarusian opposition figures have accused the authorities of using video confessions that appear coerced {to try and} dissuade {the populace} from rallying behind opponents of Lukashenko.

Western countries have condemned Lukashenko {on the} forced landing of the Ryanair flight {and also have} stepped up economic sanctions against Minsk. Many {Europe} have imposed air space restrictions on Belarusian national airline Belavia.

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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