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Dissident pulled off plane by Belarus gets 8 years in prison


TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A Belarusian court has convicted a dissident journalist who was arrested after being pulled off a commercial flight that was diverted to the country. The court sentenced Raman Pratasevich to eight years in prison on Wednesday. Pratasevich’s dramatic arrest in May 2021 elicited outrage in the West. Some leaders said the plane’s diversion was tantamount to state-sponsored hijacking. Belarusian flight controllers ordered the Ryanair jetliner traveling between Greece and Lithuania to land in Minsk. They told the crew that there was a bomb threat against the flight. No explosives were found on board. Pratasevich was detained once the plane was on the ground. His Russian girlfriend was also arrested.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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