Former editor-in-chief of the telegram channel Nexta Roman Protasevich, arrested by the Belarusian authorities after the emergency landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk , took part in a briefing by the country’s Foreign Ministry at the national press center.
He answered in detail the journalists’ question about his health and the assumptions that he was beaten and tortured in the pre-trial detention center. “I feel great, I am in a great mood, I have no complaints. Nobody beat me, didn’t touch me. I ask you to spread rumors and speculations about my health less. Mom, dad, don’t worry, I’m really fine, ”said Protasevich.
He also stressed that no one forced him to cooperate with the investigating authorities. “This is my personal choice. I am aware of the damage I have done to the state, ”Protasevich said.
In addition, the journalist said that he would never be a supporter of the current president of Belarus, but “respects him as a person” who managed to retain power after the opposition protests in 2020.
Some of the press representatives present at the briefing expressed doubts about the sincerity of Protasevich’s answers. BBC journalists left the press conference in protest.
Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Belarus Dmitry Gora, in turn, said at a briefing that Roman Protasevich is charged under three articles of the country’s Criminal Code: 130 (inciting social hostility and hatred), 293 (organizing mass riots) and 342 (organizing actions that grossly violate public order) … Protasevich’s girlfriend Sofya Sapega, detained together with a journalist, is charged under two articles of the Criminal Code of Belarus: 130 (inciting social hostility and hatred) and 342 (participation in mass riots).