Belarus ‘diverts Ryanair flight to arrest journalist’, opposition says

Belarus Faces EU Flight Ban for Grounding Ryanair Plane With Dissident - WSJ

This is how 3rd World Countries act with respect to political opposition. Let’s pray it does not get this level in the U.S.

A Ryanair plane from Greece to Lithuania was diverted to Belarus for several hours on Sunday, with activists saying it was done to arrest a dissident journalist on board.

Flight FR4978 was en route from Athens to Vilnius when it turned east to Minsk shortly before it reached the Lithuanian border. Greece and Lithuania put the number of passengers on board at 171.

In a statement, Ryanair said that the crew had been “notified by Belarus (Air Traffic Control) of a potential security threat on board and were instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk”. News reports now confirm the so-called security threat, in an email, occurred AFTER the plane had already diverted.

European nations reacted with outrage, accusing Belarus of “state terrorism”.

The ex-editor of the Nexta group, Roman Protasevich, was detained before the plane was allowed to resume its flight.

Belarus media said a MiG-29 escorted the jet to Minsk because of a bomb scare but no explosives were found.

The plane finally landed in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, its original destination, at 21:25 local time (18:25 GMT), more than seven hours after its scheduled arrival.

Arriving passengers said they had been given no information about the reason for the abrupt diversion to Minsk. One said Mr Protasevich looked “super scared. I looked directly to his eyes and it was very sad”.

Read the entire story here and here.

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