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SG/SM/20738
24 May 2021

Deeply Concerned about Apparent Forced Landing of Passenger Aircraft over Belarus, Journalist Detained from Flight, Secretary-General Calls for Full Investigation

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the apparent forced landing of a passenger aircraft over Belarus on 23 May and the subsequent detention of Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist on board.  The Secretary-General supports calls for a full, transparent and independent investigation into this disturbing incident and urges all relevant actors to cooperate with such an inquiry.

The Secretary-General also remains greatly concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus in the aftermath of last August’s presidential elections.  He urges the Belarusian authorities to fully respect all its international human rights obligations, including in relation to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association.

For information media. Not an official record.