Roman Protasevich: Belarus Journalist’s Confession Was Forced

The family of Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich says he was coerced into making a confession on TV of organising anti-government protests.

Mr Protasevich, 26, was arrested in Minsk last month after his flight to Lithuania was diverted. In a tearful appearance on state TV, he praised President Alexander Lukashenko and admitted attempting to topple him.

Marks were visible on his wrists. Human rights and opposition campaigners say he was tortured.

Mr Protasevich was editor of the opposition Nexta channel on the Telegram messaging app until last year. He was put on a list of “individuals involved in terrorist activity” by the government in Belarus.

Mass protests erupted across Belarus after Mr Lukashenko claimed victory in a 9 August presidential election widely condemned as rigged, which was followed by a crackdown.

The protests have been curbed and opposition leaders have been sent to prison or into exile


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