Yesterday evening, the pro-government Belarusian media disseminated a video message from the opposition leader, one of the founders of the Nexta telegram channel Roman Protasevich, who was detained the day before.
He is shown sitting without handcuffs and talking to the camera about his whereabouts. Roman claims that the employees of the Minsk SIZO No. 1, where he is, treat him “as correctly and as possible according to the law.” Protasevich made a decision and now “continues to cooperate with the investigation and give confessions on the fact of organizing mass riots” in Minsk. For such acts, in accordance with a certain article of the Criminal Code, the oppositionist can face up to 15 years in prison.
Apparently in response to information published yesterday by the opposition media about his deteriorating health and hospitalization in a serious condition, Roman declares that he has no “health problems, including heart problems and any other organs.”
According to TASS, yesterday evening, the press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus, Olga Chemodanova, wrote on her Telegram channel that Protasevich was in a pre-trial detention center and denied reports that he was placed in one of the healthcare institutions due to heart problems.
However, the telegram channel Nexta Live published a photo of Roman, taken in an interior similar to the one in the video. Scratches and abrasions are visible on Protasevich’s face, which is why the channel’s authors concluded: “Apparently, Roman was beaten.”
On the eve of the Belarusian authorities raised fighters to land a Ryanair plane en route to Vilnius, Minsk. Allegedly due to a bomb report on board, which turned out to be false. After the landing of the liner, Protasevich and his girlfriend, a Russian citizen, Sofia Sapega, who were on board, were detained. European leaders and the US blamed the incident on the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and demand the immediate release of the oppositionist.
Video message from Roman Protasevich: