US condemns Belarus' forced diversion of flight by fighter jet
US condemns Belarus' forced diversion of flight by fighter jet
SHARE: READ: 99     10:31     24 May 2021    
U S Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday "strongly" condemned the forced diversion of a Ryanair flight heading from Greece to Lithuania that ended with the arrest of a journalist in Belarus, Baku Tribune reports citing Anadolu. "The United States strongly condemns the forced diversion of a flight between two EU member states and the subsequent removal and arrest of journalist Roman Pratasevich in Minsk," said Blinken in a statement. Pratasevich, an opposition activist, was arrested by security forces in the Belarusian capital after Belarus used a fighter jet to force the plane to land, according to reports. The top US diplomat demanded Pratasevich's immediate release. "This shocking act perpetrated by the Lukashenko regime endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including U.S. citizens. "Initial reports suggesting the involvement of the Belarusian security services and the use of a Belarusian military aircraft to escort the plane are deeply concerning and require full investigation," said Blinken. The US is closely coordinating a response with its partners, including the EU and Lithuanian and Greek officials, he added.
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