Belarus jails Sofia Sapega, girlfriend of dissident Raman Pratasevich, seized after plane crash-landed

“We don’t much like anyone commenting on the decisions of our courts, so we won’t comment on the court decision from friendly Belarus.”

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Russian opposition figures have criticized their country for not intervening in the Sapega case despite claims it protects Russians abroad, one of the reasons Moscow gives for its military campaign in Ukraine .

“The Russian Foreign Ministry has taken no steps to get her out of Lukashenko’s clutches,” imprisoned opponent Andrei Pivovarov’s allies wrote on his Twitter account.

“Six years to be in love (with Pratasevich),” wrote Gennady Gudkov, a former lawmaker and member of the liberal opposition, on Twitter. “A rare bastard has taken over Belarus,” he added, referring to Lukashenko.

Pratasevich has not yet been tried and the status of the investigation against him is unclear.

Belarusian dissident journalist Raman Pratasevich.Credit:PA

The blogger, who fled Belarus in 2019, had worked as an editor for Polish channel Nexta Live on the Telegram messaging app. The channel, openly hostile to Lukashenko, played an important role in broadcasting and coordinating major opposition protests in 2020.

The mass protests were sparked by anger over what the opposition called a rigged presidential election that gave Lukashenko his sixth term in office.

Lukashenko denied stealing the election and cracked down on the opposition, whose leading members were imprisoned or forced to flee.

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