Mother of Belarusian blogger tells him “stay strong" as protesters demand sanctions
The mother of a Belarusian blogger, Roman Protosevich, who was arrested and detained Sunday after authorities in Belarus scrambled a fighter jet and flagged what turned out to be a fake bomb threat in order to force a Ryanair flight with Protasevich on board to land in the authoritarian country, told her son to “stay strong.”
“Stay strong,” Natalia Protasevich said. “Stay strong. We love you and we will get you out.”
Protasevich explained that both she and her husband had fled Belarus in August due to fears they “could be used” to put pressure on their son, who was living in exile in Lithuania.
Belarus has faced a wave of criticism following Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega’s arrest. In Warsaw on Wednesday, activists demonstrated outside the European Union’s office in Poland, demanding tougher sanctions.
On Thursday, the group Reporters Without Borders held a protest at Lithuania’s border with Belarus to highlight the country’s attacks on freedom of the press.
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