Skip to main content
  • Share to or

Belarusian dissident Roman Protasevich sentenced to eight years in prison

Source: Meduza

A Minsk court has sentenced Roman Protasevich, the former head of the Telegram channel Nexta, to eight years in prison, according to the Belarusian news agency Belta.

Two other defendants in the case, Nexta founder Stepan Putilo and a former editor of the channel named Yan Rudik, were reportedly sentenced in absentia to 20 and 19 years in prison, respectively.

According to investigators, the defendants published “materials with a destructive purpose” on Telegram as part of a “conspiracy whose goal was to seize state power in Belarus by unconstitutional means.” They also accused the suspects of calling on “protest-minded citizens to commit acts of terrorism.”

Protasevich was arrested in May 2021, after the Belarusian authorities forced the Ryanair flight he was taking from Athens to Vilnius to make an emergency landing in Minsk. After his arrest, he said in an interview that he was cooperating with investigators to “atone for the harm” he had “done to the country.” Protasevich’s parents called on viewers to regard his statements with skepticism, saying they were delivered under duress.

  • Share to or