Belarus: Biden condemns ‘outrageous’ forced plane landing

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US President Joe Biden speaks while visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, May 24, 2021. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Washington: US President Joe Biden slammed Belarus Monday for the “outrageous” act of forcing a flight from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk where a dissident journalist onboard was arrested.

“This outrageous incident and the video Mr. Pratasevich appears to have made under duress are shameful assaults on both political dissent and the freedom of the press,” Biden said, using an alternative spelling of the activist’s name, after Belarusian TV broadcast video of Roman Protasevich “confessing” to charges of organizing mass unrest.

“I welcome the news that the European Union has called for targeted economic sanctions and other measures, and have asked my team to develop appropriate options to hold accountable those responsible,” Biden added in his statement.