Pratasevich’s father comments on son’s interview with state TV, international community condemns such “forced confession”

On the evening of 3 June, Belarusian state TV channel ONT showed a video featuring the opposition blogger Raman Pratasevich, who was detained after the Ryanair flight had landed in Minsk. In a 1.5-hour-long video, the young man said that he had pleaded guilty to organizing mass unsanctioned actions in Belarus.

“I have no doubts: what Raman says is a result of intimidation and constant psychological and physical violence against him. This happened because he was simply intimidated and threatened, perhaps, with his girlfriend’s and his own life,” said Dzmitry Pratasevich, Raman’s father.

“What Pratasevich said is pure propaganda, not supported by any facts,” commented the head of the Viasna Human Rights Center Ales Bialiatski.

“Pratasevich was forced to confess under duress,” said Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s advisor Franak Viačorka.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab urged to bring the people involved in the recording of Raman Pratasevich’s interview with the Belarusian state TV channel to justice. The German government also condemned the broadcast of the video with Raman Pratasevich on television.

Today Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya emphasized the unacceptability of trading in political prisoners during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda: “All innocent people should be released. We saw in what state Raman is – he is a hostage of the regime – and we must do everything to free him and thousands of people who are kept in the same inhuman conditions.”

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