The chairman of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, Mr. Peter Egardt, has issued the following statement in response to the forcibly landing of a civilian aircraft in Belarust and subsequent arrest of Roman Protasevich:
”The action taken by Belarusian authorities today, forcing a civilian aircraft en route between Greece and Lithuania to land, is appalling and abhorrent.
The arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich is unlawful and he may face death penalty in Belarus. His crime is using his universal right of free speech. I call for his immediate release and for an immediate reaction by the European Union and its allies.
We can not tolerate state sanctioned piracy, abduction of journalists or continuous violence aimed at civilians in Belarus. This needs to stop and we fully support Belarusian’s peaceful strife for democracy and rule of law.”