Lukashenka pardons former Nexta editor-in-chief Roman Protasevich

Yuri Kobzar14:07, 05/22/23

Earlier, Protasevich “surrendered” all his associates in the opposition and received 8 years in prison.

The self-proclaimed “president” of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko has pardoned the former editor-in-chief of the opposition Nexta project Roman Protasevich, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison. This is reported by the state news agency “Belta” .

“Literally, I just signed all the relevant documents stating that I was pardoned. This, of course, is just great news. First of all, I am extremely grateful to the country and personally to the president for such a decision,” Protasevich said in a comment to the agency.

No other circumstances of this pardon are given. The Belarusian authorities have not yet commented on their motivation.

Case of Roman Protasevich

Protasevich is a Belarusian oppositionist in the past. In 2020, when mass protests swept Belarus after the announcement of the falsified results of the presidential election, he hosted Nexta, the largest opposition telegram channel in Belarus. At first, the channel simply covered the protests, and then began to coordinate them. Protasevich himself at that time was in forced exile.

In May 2021, the Belarusian authorities forcibly landed on their territory an airliner flying in transit through Belarusian airspace. Protasevich was on board the plane. The KGB of Belarus arrested the journalist and his girlfriend Sofya Sapega, after which the plane was released.

After that, the state media of Belarus showed an “interview” with Protasevich, in which he, with obvious signs of beatings on his face, confesses to “crimes” against the Lukashenka regime. Subsequently, Protasevich went to direct cooperation with the regime and he was released.

In May 2022, Sapega was sentenced to 6 years in prison. At the same time, Protasevich announced that he had married another woman. As it turned out, he had not maintained relations with Sapieha since his arrest. On May 3, 2023, Protasevich himself, who by that time had given a lot of evidence against the leaders of the Belarusian opposition, was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

(C)UNIAN 2023

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