MOSCOW (REUTERS) – Belarus has moved opposition blogger Roman Protasevich, who was arrested in May after the grounding of a Ryanair plane in Minsk, from a detention facility to house arrest, the BBC Russian service reported on Friday (June 25).
He is now in a rented flat in Minsk, his father Dmitri Protasevich told the BBC, but said the authorities were still not providing any information to the family.
The blogger’s girlfriend, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega, was also moved to a rented flat, where she is living alone, her stepfather told the BBC.
The Russian embassy in Minsk confirmed that she was now under house arrest, the Tass news agency reported.
The BBC cited the blogger’s father as saying: “It is difficult for me to comment on the actions of the authorities, what their aims are.”
Referring to his son and Ms Sapega, Mr Dmitri Protasevich added: “They are still under the full control of the authorities, no one has dropped the charges.
“They don’t tell us anything about Roman’s condition, about his status, it is simply a mockery.”
The interception of the Ryanair plane flying between Athens and Vilnius on May 23 – and arrest of the couple after it landed – sparked international outrage. This week, the European Union imposed wide-ranging economic sanctions on Belarus.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who faced months of anti-government protests last year following his re-election in a vote his critics said was rigged, said the interception was justified to prevent a rebellion in Belarus.