Belarus broadcasts a video of journalist Protasevich confessing. With marks on his face and in a state of tension, the Belarusian opponent admits the crimes and claims to be well treated. Community leaders and those around the arrested fear that the words spoken have been extracted through torture.
With some abrasions on his face , and in an evident state of tension . This has been shown, for the first time since his arrest at the Minsk airport last Sunday, the Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich . “I am cooperating with the investigation and have confessed to having organized massive riots in the city of Minsk,” said the dissident, in a brief statement of only half a minute.
As soon as the tape was broadcast on Belarusian state television, both EU political leaders and colleagues of the detainee have expressed their fear that the recorded confession had in fact been obtained by the interrogators through torture.
Who is Roman Protasevich, the journalist arrested in Belarus?
The words of the opponent before the camera were spoken in a rush and without intonations. Protasevich has stated that “the attitude of the employees” (of the Ministry of the Interior) towards him was being “as correct as possible and in accordance with the law”. In addition, he has revealed his whereabouts, the ” number 1 detention center in Minsk “, and has emphasized that he does not suffer from “any health problems” in any organ, including “the heart”.
“This is how Roman is under physical pressure,” accused the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Svetlana Tijanóvskaya , in a tweet. For his part, Dmitri Protasevich, Roman’s father, has stated that his son spoke “in an unusual way.” “It is as if I were reading a text,” he has described.
This opinion is also shared by the authorities of Lithuania , a neighboring country of Belarus, where most of the exiled opposition leaders have found refuge . “Knowing how most confessions are extracted, we did not buy the official version,” replied Aiste Skaisgiryte , advisor to the Lithuanian head of state on security issues. However, the presidential adviser has welcomed that Protasevich is still “alive.” “It is good news,” he concluded.
Trying to buy time in the face of the growing international outrage created by the diversion of a commercial plane in mid-flight, the Belarusian Ministry of Transport has invited several international organizations to come to Minsk to clarify the circumstances of the air incident, including representatives of the Association International Air Transport .
Foreign Minister Anatoli Glaz has insisted that his country’s actions were “in full compliance with established international standards.” The Belarusian government forced the aircraft to deviate from its route shortly before entering Lithuanian airspace after receiving a bomb alert that turned out to be false.