Belarus: Lukashenko pardons political prisoner seized from hijacked plane

Source: Politico

“A dissident blogger detained in Belarus after his flight was forced to land in the Eastern European country has received a presidential pardon and escaped close to a decade behind bars, state media reported. Speaking to government-run news outlet Belta on Monday, Roman Protasevich said he had ‘just signed all the relevant documents for my pardon,’ and ‘personally thanked’ Belarus'[s] autocratic leader Alexander Lukashenko for the decision. … in May 2021, he was aboard a Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania that was ordered to land while flying through Belarusian airspace and arrested on the tarmac. Authorities in the country used a fake bomb threat to justify the interception, triggering a wave of condemnation from Western nations and restrictions on the country’s airlines.” (05/22/23)