The Belarusian authorities have announced the placement under house arrest of the opponent Roman Protassevich and his companion, arrested at the end of May after their flight from Athens was diverted to Minsk.
As AFP reports, the Belarusian Investigative Committee declared on its Telegram channel on June 25 that it was now possible to place journalist and activist Roman Protassevich, as well as his partner, under house arrest after both made “consistent confessions” and pledged to “assist the investigation and identify their accomplices”.
Earlier today, an adviser to Belarusian opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya explained that he had spoken to Roman Protassevich’s parents and learned of his placement under house arrest. The lawyer for his partner Sofia Sapega, for his part, said he hoped “for a positive development in the near future” for his client.
The young journalist who, as reported by Times in May – before the newspaper suppressed the article in question – has in the past maintained links with the Azov Battalion, a far-right militia operating in Ukraine against rebels in the east of the country, is today accused by the Belarusian authorities of having coordinated on social networks, with the help of his companion, the wave of demonstrations which swept through several major cities of the country last year, after the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko .
Since his arrest, Roman Protassevich has, in an interview broadcast by Belarusian public television, admitted his guilt and said he wanted to correct his mistakes. As a reminder, the interview in question had made several Western chancelleries leap, among other things, denouncing an exchange “clearly carried out under duress”.
This week, the European Union and Washington took new sanctions against dozens of officials, including defense and transport ministers, the Air Force chief of staff and one of the son of Alexander Lukashenko.