The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has described as “direct affront to international standards” Belarus’ forced diversion of a commercial flight to detain a Belarusian dissident, an incident it has called “outrageous”.
In this way, and through a statement issued by the White House, Biden has assured that the United States condemns “In the strongest terms, both the deviation of the plane and the subsequent transfer and arrest of Román Protasevich”, a well-known Belarusian opposition journalist.
The US leader adds that this “outrageous incident and the video that Protasevich appears to have made under duress are shameful attacks on both political dissent and freedom of the press“, so Washington joins” the countries around the world that demand his release, as well as that of the hundreds of political prisoners unjustly detained by the Alexander Lukashenko regime. “
In this context, Biden has requested “an international investigation that allows knowing all the facts of the case”, while he applauded the decision of the European Union to call for “the imposition of selective economic sanctions and other measures” and announced that his team is working on developing “the right options for holding those responsible to account” in collaboration with the EU and Your partners.
“For months, the Belarusian people have made their voices heard demanding democracy, respect for Human Rights and the preservation of fundamental freedoms. I applaud the courage and determination of Belarusians fighting for basic rights, including journalists such as Roman Protasevich and opposition leaders such as Svetlana Tijanovskaya, “the president stressed, reaffirming the United States’ commitment to continue supporting” the people of Belarus in their struggle. “
For his part, the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, spoke on Monday with Tijanovskaya herself, to whom he transmitted “the strong US support for the demands of the Belarusian people in favor of democracy, Human Rights and fundamental freedoms “.
As reported by the spokeswoman for the National Security Council, Emily Horne, Sullivan has also praised “the courage and selfless sacrifice of democratic leaders and the hundreds of other democratic activists, independent journalists and Belarusian civil society leaders languishing in Belarusian prisons as political prisoners of the Lukashenko regime. “
Sullivan has rated as “brazen and dangerous” the forced diversion of the plane, and has also called for the “immediate” release of Protasevich and the holding of “free and fair elections” in the country.
Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has called an “urgent meeting” of the 36 diplomatic representatives to the ICAO Council, on May 27 on the diversion of the Ryanair flight.