US calls for ICAO to convene on Ryanair incident

Washington calls for the convening of the ICAO (Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization), coordinating with the European Union the response to the Ryanair incident.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declares Washington’s strong condemnation of the Ryanair incident and demands the immediate release of Roman Protasevich, one of the founders of the NEXTA Telegram channel. On Sunday evening, the Secretary of State issued a statement saying:

The United States strongly condemns the forced change in flight direction between the two EU countries, as well as the arrest of journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk. We demand his immediate release. This shocking act of the regime endangered the lives of more than 120 passengers, including US citizens. Initial reports of the involvement of the Belarusian special services and the use of a military aircraft to escort the aircraft are deeply troubling and require a full investigation. We are closely coordinating the response with our partners, including the EU, the Lithuanian and Greek authorities. Given the evidence that the landing of the aircraft was caused by false grounds, we support the early convening of a meeting of the ICAO Council to consider these events.

The US Secretary of State also noted that political persecution and detention of journalists continues in Belarus. He called on the Belarusian authorities to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms”.

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