Interception of a Ryanair flight by the Government of Belarus
Australia strongly condemns the Belarusian Government’s forced military interception of a commercial flight, and subsequent arrest of Belarusian opposition blogger and passenger, Roman Protasevich.
We are also concerned by reports that the Belarusian Government allegedly grounded the flight on the false pretence of a security threat.
This unprecedented action put innocent lives of airline passengers at risk and was a clear breach of the international standards that underpin civil aviation.
It forms part of a campaign of repression against free speech in Belarus — including electoral manipulation, and arrests of journalists and free speech advocates.
Australia calls for the immediate release of Roman Protasevich and a full investigation. We will engage with allies and partners in the international response to this event.