New York

24 May 2021

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - on the diversion of a passenger aircraft over Belarus 

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General 

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 Mr. 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.