G7 Foreign Ministers denounce arrest of Belarus journalist

Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy nations on Thursday called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist arrested by the regime in Minsk after the plane he was on was diverted.

The ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, and the United States, along with the European Union “condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented action by the Belarusian authorities,” the statement added.

“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. All our countries, and our citizens, depend on every state acting responsibly in fulfilling their duties under the Chicago Convention so that civilian aircraft can operate safely and securely. We call on the International Civil Aviation Organization to urgently address this challenge to its rules and standards,” they said in a joint statement.

“This action also represents a serious attack on media freedom. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of Raman Protasevich, as well as all other journalists and political prisoners held in Belarus.

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

Belarus journalistRoman Protasevich