Around the World Leaders Condemn Belarus for Forcing Jet to Land, Detaining Protasevich

The Group of Seven (G7) released a statement condemning Belarus for making a Ryanair passenger plane land so they could detain a someone on board. “This action jeopardized the safety of the passengers and crew of the flight. It was also a serious attack on the rules governing civil aviation,” the statement said. “We will enhance our efforts, including through further sanctions as appropriate, to promote accountability for the actions of the Belarusian authorities.” The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and Britain.

The United Nations expressed their concern in a statement that said, “The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the apparent forced landing of a passenger aircraft over Belarus on 23 May and the subsequent detention of Mr. Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist on board,” said a statement issued by the spokesperson for Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN. The UN chief called for “a full, transparent and independent investigation into this disturbing incident” and urged all parties concerned to cooperate with the inquiry. He said he remained “greatly concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus” in the aftermath of the elections. “He urges the Belarusian authorities to fully respect all its international human rights obligations, including in relation to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association.”

Meanwhile, the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) released this statement condemning the action by Belarus: “IATA strongly condemns any interference or requirement for landing of civil aviation operations that is inconsistent with the rules of international law,” Willie Walsh, IATA director general. “The details of the event with flight FR 4978 are not clear. A full investigation by competent international authorities is needed.”