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G7 condemns Belarusian action in arresting journalist, demand release

Flags of the G7 nations. Photo: Pixabay

London, May 27 (MNN) The G7 countries along with High Representative of the EU on Thursday condemned the “unprecedented action” by Belarusian authorities in arresting journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion after forced diversion of an airplane to Minsk.

“We, the G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US and High Representative of the European Union condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented action by the Belarusian authorities in arresting independent journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sopega after forcing flight FR4978 on which they were travelling to land in Minsk on May 23,” they said.

They said this action represents a serious attack on media freedom. “We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Raman Pratasevich, as well as all other journalists and political prisoners held in Belarus.”

These leader said the Belarusian action jeopardised the safety of the passengers and crew of the flight. It was also a serious attack on the rules governing civil aviation.

“All our countries, and our citizens, depend on every state acting responsibly in fulfilling their duties under the Chicago Convention so that civil aircraft can operate safely and securely.

“We call on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to urgently address this challenge to its rules and standards.

“We will enhance our efforts, including through further sanctions as appropriate, to promote accountability for the actions of the Belarusian authorities.”

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