By Brigid Kennedy The Week
Sofia Sapega, the Russian girlfriend of detained Belarusian dissident Roman Protasevich, was sentenced to six years in prison for inciting social hatred, Reuters reports Friday.
Sapega was traveling with Protasevich last May when their flight was diverted to Minsk by Belarusian authorities. At the time, Belarus claimed it grounded the plane due to a tip about a bomb; but the threat ended up being false, and both Protasevich and Sapega were detained, Reuters writes.
The forced diversion was immediately condemned by the international community, many members of which likened the incident to a state-sponsored hijacking. The European Union and the United States responded by enacting more sanctions against Belarus.
Per Reuters, Protzsevich — who fled Belarus in 2019 — has yet to go on trial, and “the status of the investigation against him is unclear.”
Categories: State Repression