Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he was considering the possibility of transferring Sofia Sapiega, the convicted partner of the opposition blogger Raman Pratasiewicz, to Russia. – Pity the girl. We have to solve this problem, he told reporters in Minsk.
Lukashenka said that due to Sofia Sapiega’s Russian citizenship, she could be transferred to the Russian side. – We have practice. We can transfer a citizen of Russia to Russia. Let (Sapiega – ed.) Serve his sentence there – added the Belarusian leader, quoted by the state agency BiełTA.
In early May Sapiega was sentenced to six years in a penal colony from the two articles of the Criminal Code on incitement to hatred and the illegal collection or dissemination of other people’s data.
The partner of the opposition blogger Raman Pratasiewicz was detained with him in May last year after the forced landing in Minsk of a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Vilnius. The trial of the Russian woman began on March 28 this year and was held behind closed doors. Sapiega agreed to cooperate with the investigators. Earlier, she also asked Lukashenka for a pardon.
Forced return of oppositionists
Lukashenka in Friday’s conversation with journalists of pro-government media did not rule out initiating “a forced return of politicians and activists of the Belarusian opposition to Belarus if they are on the lists of KGB persons involved in terrorist activities.” However, when asked about this, the leader said that “it is not yet time”.
Many representatives of the Belarusian opposition, including Lukashenka’s main rival in the presidential election in 2020 Swiatłana Cichanouskaleft Belarus after repressions by the authorities over the outbreak of mass anti-government protests after the elections, the results of which were not recognized by Western democracies.
Main photo source: LEONID SHCHEGLOV / AFP / East News