Lukashenko brandishes prospect of death sentence for blogger Roman Protasevich

Mr Protasevich’s parents said their son had become the ‘personal enemy’ of the Belarus president

Oliver Carroll
Moscow Correspondent
Wednesday 02 June 2021 18:53 BST
A poster calling for the release of Roman Protasevich
A poster calling for the release of Roman Protasevich (PA)

Roman Protasevich may not escape the death penalty, Alexander Lukashenko has said — with the unpredictable dictator hinting that his number one prisoner may even be transferred to insurgent fighters in the non-recognised, Russian backed Donbass to get his way.

In largely overlooked comments made on Monday, Belarus’s leader said Mr Protasevich had been responsible for “grave crimes” in eastern Ukraine that could correspond to the highest sentence.

“[Protasevich] killed people there, in Donbass, and he shouted [on the plane] that he was worried about the death penalty,” Mr Lukashenko said. “He knew what he was talking about. He knew there could be questions from southeastern Ukraine. How it changes everything.”

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