The Belarusian opposition in Poland and the parents of dissident Roman Pratasevich believe that a video in which this one asks for forgiveness is “the result of torture” and coercion to which he is being subjected “, with probable threats” to his life and that of his girlfriend “, the Russian Sofia Sapega.
Through the Telegram channel Nexta, founded by Pratasevich and which serves to coordinate the Belarusian dissidents abroad, Dimitri Pratasevich, father of the political activist arrested by Minsk on May 23 after the diversion of the plane in which he was traveling, showed himself this Friday “convinced” that his son “was bullied, as he has been under pressure for more than a week.”
In an hour and a half video released by the Belarusian authorities you can see how Román Pratasevich, interviewed by the state broadcaster ONT, lashes out at his fellow exiles in Poland, and accuses them of leading a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the Polish government and of having secret agreements with Warsaw and the Lithuanian government to attack Russia.
Really uncomfortable to watch this. A battered Roman Protasevich appears on Belarusian state TV to praise autocrat Aleksandr Lukashenko, 10 days after the dissident blogger was taken off the Ryanair flight that was forced to land in Minsk. A volte-face that’s very hard to believe pic.twitter.com/escJriEtfX
— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) June 3, 2021
Franak Viacorka, who is an advisor to the Belarusian dissident leader, Svetlana Tijanóvskaya, added on social media that “it is painful” to watch the video, that Pratasevich is “hostage” of the Belarusian regime and adds: “we have to do everything possible to free him and the other 460 political prisoners.”
At another point in the interview, Pratasevich refers to the delivery of a villa in the Polish neighborhood of Saska Kepa to Tijanóvskaya by the Polish government, in which “there were rooms where they would not let me enter” and assures that he was not allowed access information on financial aid to the Belarusian community in Poland.
On his activity against Alexander Lukashenko, the leader of Belarus, and whom Pratasevich never refers to by his surname, he states that “at first I criticized him, but the more I got involved in political activity, the more I understood that many of the things for which Alexander Grigorevich (Lukashenko) was criticized were actually just an attempt to exert pressure and that at times he acted, with forgiveness, like a man with balls of steel. “
At the end of the interview, with tears in his eyes, the young Pratasevich declares guilty of the crimes of which he is accused and promises to leave politics to “live in peace.”
Through a message published on Nexta, it is requested that “in the first place, a lawyer be allowed” to assist Pratasevich in the process initiated against him, and also “that the doctors can see it to assess its actual condition. “
The ambassadors of the European Union approved this Friday to prohibit all Belarusian airlines from using the EU airspace and landing at the airports in their territory, a decision that will be effective once it is adopted in the so-called written procedure of the Council of the EU .