According to the Russian BBC News, Sapieg, who has been under house arrest since October 20, is in a bad mental state. “She’s depressed and confused, has trouble falling asleep at night,” say BBC interviewees. In September, she was extended under house arrest until December 25. Her mother said that her relatives have not had contact with her since October.
Sofia Sapiega and Roman Protasiewicz were detained on May 23, after the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk. They flew it to Vilnius. According to the independent Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Giczan, a group of agents of the Belarusian KGB boarded the plane in Athens with Protasiewicz. After the plane was over Belarus, they started a fight with Ryanair’s cabin crew, claiming there was a bomb in the machine. According to the procedures, the pilots landed in Minsk.
There, Belarusian officials detained Protasiewicz and his fiancée, Sofia Sapiega. The girl is under house arrest and is staying in her parents’ apartment in Liga in Belarus. Her parents were ordered to leave the premises.
The detention of Protasiewicz was condemned by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and announced that he had asked the President of the European Council to expand the agenda with a point on “immediate sanctions against the Lukashenka regime”. – Hijacking a civilian plane is an unprecedented act of state terrorism that cannot go unpunished – he wrote on Twitter.
BBC News reports that on Friday, December 3, Sofia Sapiega was to be summoned to the Belarusian Investigative Committee for investigation. Initially, Roman Protasiewicz’s partner was accused of “co-organizing mass riots”, as well as “gross violations of public order”, for which she may be punished by up to 15 years in prison. The girl has now been accused of “inciting hostility,” according to the BBC, for which she is facing six years in prison.
Sources cited by the BBC do not know where Roman Protasiewicz is. After his arrest, he made several appearances in the state media, officially admitting his guilt and mistakes. He criticized collaborators from opposition circles, and stated that the Belarusian opposition “is financed by Western, including Polish and Lithuanian, secret services.”
In the opinion of many journalists, Protasiewicz was broken by the Belarusian services. “I know my son very well and I believe he would never say such things.” They broke it and forced him to say what was needed – said Dmitry Protasievich, the journalist’s father.
Roman Protasiewicz is 26 years old, he is a journalist. He worked, among others in the editorial office of Euroradia, previously he was a scholarship holder of the Václav Havel. He was a co-founder of the Nexta channel, recognized by the Belarusian authorities as extremist. The authorities called him “the terrorist”. Protasiewicz and his associates reported on and monitored the situation in Belarus after the presidential elections in August 2020 rigged by the Alexander Lukashenka regime. A journalistic investigation into Lukashenka’s property was also conducted on the channel.