Protests call for release of Belarus journalist

·2-min read
A protest being held in Vilnius demanding the release of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich, on Saturday. (Photo credit: NHK World)
A protest being held in Vilnius demanding the release of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich, on Saturday. (Photo credit: NHK World)

Minsk [Belarus], May 30 (ANI): Scores of people took to the streets across Europe on Saturday, against the Belarusian government led by President Alexander Lukashenko, following the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich.

The call has been given by the Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya for "global protests" against the government, following the detention.

Lukashenko administration is facing fierce criticism from the international community for forcing an airliner to land in Minsk and detaining journalist Raman Pratasevich, who was on board the plane.

Protesters held rallies in Lithuania, Norway, and other European countries on Saturday in response to an appeal from Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who is staying outside her country. In Poland, demonstrators gathered at a square in Warsaw, calling for more freedom in Belarus, NHK World reported.

Meanwhile, as per DW News, Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has also called for a demonstration of global solidarity with political prisoners in Belarus yesterday, the one-year anniversary of her husband's arrest.

"I call on the international community to join the Global Picket of Solidarity with Belarus on May 29. We need your support. Tell your friends & the whole world about the repressions in Belarus, about political prisoners, about Raman Pratasevich, Sofia Sapega," she tweeted.

She made the call from Lithuania where she has been living in exile since the outbreak of the large-scale protest movement against the President following his widely rejected electoral victory last August.

Tsikhanouskaya took center stage in the opposition movement after her husband Sergei Tsikhanousky, who had planned to run against Lukashenko, was arrested last May.

Tsikhanouskaya announced the "Global Picket of Solidarity with Belarus" with a video shared on social media.

She asked people to take part in events to raise awareness about the fate of repression of political prisoners in Belarus, specifically naming the anti-government blogger Raman Pratasevich who was detained along with his girlfriend Sofia Sapega almost a week ago after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was forced to land in Minsk.

Tsikhanouskaya said in her video that the arrest of her husband had "sparked the wave of peaceful protests and solidarity chains across the country."

"That is when the harshest repressions in the modern history of Belarus started," she added.

Meanwhile, Lukashenko held the second day of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the southern Russian city of Sochi yesterday.

Belarus' state-run media reports that the leaders agreed on a loan to Belarus, and an increase in the number of flights between the two countries. (ANI)

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