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Roman Protasevich: Belarus pardons flight-detained activist

According to state media, a Belarusian opposition activist who was detained after his Ryanair flight was forced to land in the capital Minsk has been pardoned.

In May 2021, Roman Protasevich was removed from his flight and detained on charges of inciting unrest.

Earlier this month, he was given an eight-year prison sentence.

His prison sentence, which state media had said will be served in a penal colony, is uncertain after the commute.

Roman Protasevich: Belarus pardons flight-detained activist

Mr. Protasevich was convicted of organizing mass demonstrations, calling for sanctions against Belarus, forming or leading an extremist group, and plotting to usurp power.

In May 2021, after his flight from Greece to Lithuania was abruptly diverted to Minsk by Belarusian air traffic control. He was arrested along with his fiancée, Russian citizen Sofia Sapega. They claimed the threat of an explosive existed.

The man was then removed from the aircraft and detained.

The arrests sparked international outrage and EU sanctions against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The West accused Belarus of hijacking the Ryanair flight under the guise of an explosives threat.

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