On May 23 of 2021, Roman Protasevich, a journalist and well-known critic of Lukashenko’s regime and his girlfriend Sofía Sapega, a law student, were traveling from Athens, Greece to Vilnius, Lithuania. Suddenly, their plans changed. Two KGB members that were on board allegedly reported ‘a bomb’ and forced the landing of the aircraft in Minsk, Belarus, even though they were already closer to Vilnius. In order to protect 171 passengers, the Ryanair Flight FR4978, escorted by an MiG-29, was diverted and landed in Minsk National Airport. After five hours searching for the bomb nothing was found and the plane was free to go. Nonetheless, without both Protasevich and Sapega, who were captured as terrorists. According to the BBC, the situation was just a stunt to imprison him, but it definitely affected other passengers while challenging both human rights law and international law.
|Latin American Center of European Studies (LACES)
|Published - 2021