World reacts to plane ‘hijacking’, arrest of journalist

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Published on May 24, 2021 by

Leaders across Europe are accusing Belarus of “hijacking” and “piracy” after the forced landing of a passenger jet.
They are calling for sanctions after Belarus compelled the plane to land in Minsk so they could arrest a Belarussian journalist, Roman Protasevich.
The aircraft – en route from Greece to Lithuania – was in Belarusian air space when the pilot was given a false bomb threat and diverted to Minsk.
Belarus scrambled a fighter jet to escort the Ryanair plane but denies the passenger jet was forced to land – saying the crew were merely given “recommendations”. Belarus says it is willing to let international investigators visit.
But Ireland’s foreign minister says the grounding of the Irish carrier amounts to “state-sponsored aviation piracy”. He believes there were several intelligence agents on board.
Along with the condemnation, there are demands for the release of Protasevich.
Meanwhile, exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya says she fears for his life.

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