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Belarus pardons dissident blogger Roman Protasevich, state media say

Protasevich has been accused of coordinating mass protests against President Alexander Lukashenko in 2020.

Belarusian authorities have pardoned Roman Protasevic, an opposition activist and journalist who was arrested and convicted for coordinating mass protests against President Alexander Lukashenko in 2020.

The 28-year-old was arrested two years ago on a Ryanair flight from Athens to Vilnius, which made an emergency landing in Minsk due to a ‘bomb threat’.

In a statement to the Belarusian press, Protasevic said Lukashenko issued an amnesty decision and signed the necessary documents for his pardon.

Protasevic, who was released with the amnesty decision, said: “Of course, this is great news. I am personally grateful to the president and the country for this decision.”

His family, however, said the series of apologies were forced.

On May 3, the Minsk District Court sentenced Protasevic to eight years in prison for his involvement in terrorist incidents in Belarus.

Protasevic had been under house arrest since his arrest.

euronews Gt

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