NUJ condemns state-hijacking of plane and detention of Raman Pratasevich

  • 24 May 2021

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK and Ireland has condemned the detention of Raman Pratasevich following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight, and called for his immediate release and that of all journalists in jail in Belarus.

On Sunday Raman Pratasevich was removed from a flight and detained by the Belarusian authorities after the plane was instructed to divert to Minsk because of a potential security threat on board.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"This is breath-taking behaviour and demonstrates just how far President Lukashenko will go to in order to silence journalists and those critical of his regime. This act of state thuggery cannot be allowed to go unchallenged – the international community must do more to stand up to this unacceptable behaviour from a regime set on dismantling press freedom and instilling fear in journalists in Belarus. The NUJ gives its full support and solidarity to our sister union, the Belarusian Association of Journalists, and their brave work in defence of their members."

There are 29 journalists currently detained in Belarus, their names are:

  • Raman Pratasevich
  • Katsiaryna Andreyeva
  • Daria Chultsova
  • Yulia Slutskaya
  • Alla Sharko
  • Siarhei Alsheuski
  • Petr Slutski
  • Ksenia Lutskina
  • Andrei Aliaksandrau
  • Dzianis Ivashyn
  • Andrej Pachobut
  • Maryna Zolatava
  • Volha Loika
  • Liudmila Chekina
  • Alena Talkachova
  • Anzhela Asad
  • Iryna Rybalka
  • Ala Lapatka
  • Darya Danilava
  • Maria Novik
  • Aliaksandr Daineka
  • Andrei Audzeyau
  • Katsiaryna Tkachenka (lawyer, under home arrest)
  • Iryna Kastsiuchenka (lawyer, under home arrest)
  • Aliaksandr Burakou (administrative case)
  • Uladzimer Laptsevich (administrative case)
  • Liubou Kaspiarovich (administrative case)
  • Arciom Mayorau (administrative case)
  • Ales Silich (administrative case)

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