U.S. charges Belarus with air piracy in Ryanair flight diversion to arrest journalist

U.S. prosecutors charged four Belarusian government officials on Thursday with aircraft piracy for diverting a Ryanair flight last year to arrest an opposition

1/21/2022 9:17:00 AM

U.S. prosecutors have charged four Belarusian government officials with aircraft piracy for diverting a Ryanair flight last year to arrest an opposition journalist, using a ruse that there was a bomb threat.

U.S. prosecutors charged four Belarusian government officials on Thursday with aircraft piracy for diverting a Ryanair flight last year to arrest an opposition

on the one-year anniversary of Lukashenko’s election to a sixth term leading the Eastern European nation — a vote the U.S. and international community said was fraught with irregularities.Widespread belief that the 2020 vote was stolen triggered mass protests in Belarus that led to increased repressions by Lukashenko’s government on protesters, dissidents and independent media. More than 35,000 people were arrested and thousands were beaten and jailed. The protests lasted for months, petering out only when winter set in.

Read more: NBC News »

Lunar eclipse thrills stargazers

The eastern half of North America and all of Central and South America were treated to prime viewing of a lunar eclipse, while partial stages were visible ac... Read more >>

do you want to be thankful. They could’ve just shot it out of the sky I never thought of meeting a legit bitcoin trader after been scammed many times at my age but the heavens sent AmelieBtc1 guided me and help me make a living through bitcoin with my coinbase app, I recommend you to meet her now and also be a beneficiary of good work

Ridiculous case with political motive.

levied new sanctions against Belarus on the one-year anniversary of Lukashenko’s election to a sixth term leading the Eastern European nation — a vote the U.S. and international community said was fraught with irregularities. Widespread belief that the 2020 vote was stolen triggered mass protests in Belarus that led to increased repressions by Lukashenko’s government on protesters, dissidents and independent media. More than 35,000 people were arrested and thousands were beaten and jailed. The protests lasted for months, petering out only when winter set in. Those charged in court papers Thursday were identified as Leonid Mikalaevich Churo, director general of Belaeronavigatsia Republican Unitary Air Navigation Services Enterprise, the Belarusian state air navigation authority; Oleg Kazyuchits, deputy director general of Belaeronavigatsia; and two Belarusian state security agents whose full identities weren’t known to prosecutors. U.S. prosecutors described the defendants as fugitives and said they were facing charges of conspiring to commit aircraft piracy, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. Messages seeking comment were sent to the Belarusian embassy in Washington and the country’s U.N. mission in New York; their phones rang unanswered Thursday evening. U.S. officials say they have jurisdiction in the case because American citizens were aboard the flight. After the episode last year, the European Union swiftly banned Belarusian airlines from using airspace and airports in the 27-nation bloc, urged EU-based carriers to avoid flying over Belarus and imposed sanctions on some Belarusian officials. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the plane incident amounted to a “hijacking.” Lithuania told all incoming and outgoing flights to avoid neighboring Belarus, while Ukraine’s leader moved to ban Ukrainian flights via the neighbor’s airspace. But Belarus’ key ally Russia offered support, arguing that Belarus acted in line with international procedures for bomb threats and saying the West reacted rashly. Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Lukashenko for talks days after the incident and nodded in sympathy as Lukashenko fulminated about the EU sanctions, saying the bloc was trying to destabilize his country.