Raman Pratasevich

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In Belarus, Lukashenko’s vindictiveness reaches new heights

On May 23, Belarusian authorities caused a global outcry when they diverted a Lithuania-bound commercial flight to the Belarus capital of Minsk so they could arrest two passengers on the plane: self-exiled journalist Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega. This shocking tactic was seen as emblematic of just how far President Aleksandr Lukashenko is…

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Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich’s parents on their efforts to find and free their son

“It felt like a horror movie.” That is how Dmitry Pratasevich describes learning that his son, Raman Pratasevich, was arrested after Belarusian authorities diverted Raman’s commercial flight from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk on May 23. Raman was the co-founder of NEXTA and the chief editor of Belarus of the Brain, two Telegram channels that rankled authorities…

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Protestors holding signs

At-risk journalists who must flee home countries often find few quick and safe options

In 2018, journalist Mohammad Shubaat was in Daraa, Syria, caught between advancing forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the closed borders of Israel and Jordan. Despite the dire threat to Shubaat and many of his colleagues, it would take over a year of intense negotiations with some 20 countries by the Committee to…

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Why authoritarian governments force journalists like Belarus’s Raman Pratasevich into public confessions

Forced confessions—sometimes tied to public humiliation—have a long and inglorious history, and were a fundamental component of ancient judicial systems in the East and West. Obtaining a confession, by any means, for centuries was often a key part of achieving a conviction and meting out punishment. At the Salem witch trials, the accused could escape…

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In Belarus, Pratasevich’s arrest highlights risks facing journalists covering protests

The May 23 arrest of Belarusian journalist and blogger Raman Pratasevich off a diverted commercial passenger flight was a shattering blow to press freedom in Belarus. Pratasevich is the co-founder of NEXTA and chief editor of Belarus of the Brain, two Telegram channels that covered protests against President Aleksandr Lukashenko, a dangerous beat in the country where demonstrations are…

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Council of the EU must press Belarus to release journalist Raman Pratasevich

Brussels, May 25, 2021 – In response to a statement yesterday by the European Council demanding the immediate release of Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich and calling for sanctions on Belarusian officials, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement: “We welcome the call by European leaders for the immediate release of Belarusian journalist Raman…

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Detained Belarusian journalist Raman Pratasevich appears in ‘confession’ video

Vilnius, Lithuania, May 24, 2021 — Belarusian authorities must immediately and unconditionally release journalist Raman Pratasevich, who was detained yesterday, and allow him to leave the country freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Today, Pratasevich appeared in a 29-second video first published by the pro-government Telegram channel Zhyoltiye Slivy. In that video, which…

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Belarus arrests journalist Raman Pratasevich after diverting flight to Minsk

New York, May 23, 2021—In response to news reports that Belarusian authorities today diverted a commercial passenger flight to Minsk in order to arrest journalist Raman Pratasevich, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement: “We are shocked by today’s action, even as President Aleksandr Lukashenko’s government has increasingly strangled the press in Belarus…

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Belarus authorities arrest journalists, issue jail sentences, launch investigation

Vilnius, Lithuania, November 6, 2020 – Belarusian authorities should stop arresting and prosecuting journalists and allow news media to report on the country’s political situation freely and safely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, police in the capital Minsk detained Nasta Zacharevich of internet news portal Zeleny, according to the Belarusian Association of…

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