BELARUS HIT FOR PRODUCING PRATASEVICH’S CONFESSIONAL VIDEO
Belarusian blogger Raman Pratasevich has apparently been pressured after admitting in a video produced by his captors that he had organized protests against President Alexander Lukashenko, Deutsche Welle reported.
In a video circulated by state TV channels on Monday, May 24, 2021, Pratasevich, detained when an Athens-to-Vilnius Ryanair plane he was on was forced to land in Minsk, said he is in good health.
"Yesterday, I was arrested by officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the national airport in Minsk ... I am in Detention Center No. 1 in Minsk. I can say that I have no health problems, including with my heart or any other organs," Pratasevich said in the video.
"The attitude of employees towards me is as correct as possible and according to the law," Pratasevich added. "I continue cooperating with investigators and am confessing to having organized mass unrest in the city of Minsk."
The 26-year-old is wearing a black hoodie in the video and sits behind a table with a pack of cigarettes by his side.
Some dark markings are visible on his forehead. The video appears on several channels of the Telegram messaging app, Reuters also reported.
In response to the video, Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said the blogger was pressured.
"The regime's propaganda channels posted a video of arrested Raman Pratasevich, saying that he is treated lawfully in the Minsk Detention Center No.1... This is how Raman looks under physical and moral pressure," Thiskanouskaya wrote on Twitter.
"I demand the immediate release of Raman and all political prisoners," she added, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.