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Forced plane landing in Belarus another violation of int’l law: President

The events in Belarus related to the forced landing of a passenger airplane are another example of violations of the fundamental principles of international law, stated President Andrzej Duda.

Leading Belarusian activist detained after plane diverted mid-flight

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“The international community cannot remain indifferent. It is necessary to act decisively towards the Belarusian authorities,” wrote President Duda on Twitter.

Belarus, under the pretext of a bomb threat, forced a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius to land at Minsk airport on Sunday. The information about the bomb turned out to be false after checking the plane. One of the passengers was Raman Pratasevich, a leading Belarusian opposition activist-in-exile who was arrested shortly after the landing. He had an arrest warrant issued by the Belarusian law enforcement agencies.

According to the Belarusian opposition, the whole situation is a provocation by the secret services aimed at arresting Mr Pratasevich. This opinion was expressed, among others, by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a candidate in the country’s previous presidential elections, now in exile.

“In connection with this incident, the Chargé d’affaires of Belarus was immediately summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he heard our firm opposition to this type of, as Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called them, acts of state terrorism in which civil aircrafts are intentionally forced to land on the territory of countries for which such landings were not planned under the pretext of safety procedures,” said the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marcin Przydacz.

The Belarusian chargé d’affaires had not provided any further information when probed on the matter, Mr Przydacz said. “I demanded a reply in the nearest future, how and for what purpose such actions were taken, because it is almost certain that the goals were of a political nature,” he stated.

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