Update: Passengers describe their panic as Ryanair flight was hijacked and diverted following orders by Belarusian president to arrest dissident journalist, Protasevich

Passengers on board a Ryanair flight that was suddenly diverted as it began its descent into Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sunday, May 23, have described their fear and panic as the plane changed course with no explanation.

Flight FR4978 was bound for Lithuania from Greece when it was forced to switch direction for the Belarusian capital Minsk so the authorities there could arrest dissident journalist, Roman Protasevich, 26.

Protasevich, pictured above, is a former editor of media Nexta, a media operation with a Telegram channel. He left Belarus in 2019 to live in exile in Lithuania.

Protasevich was charged with terrorism and inciting riots after covering the events of the 2020 Belarus presidential election that the US and EU claim were very rigged and went against the vote of the people.

On Sunday May 23, the flight pilot announced the emergency diversion, but provided no details.

The plane was then accompanied by a fighter jet that had been scrambled by the Belarusian military to guide it to Minsk.Latest Post


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