Belarus jailed blogger moved to house arrest

Belarus has moved the jailed opposition blogger Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega from a detention facility to house arrest.

The pair have been in jail since May 23 when Belarusian authorities intercepted their Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania and caused international outrage.

Protasevich is now in a rented flat in the Belarusian capital Minsk, his father Dmitri Protasevich told the BBC.

Sapega, who is a Russian citizen, was moved to a separate rented flat, according to her stepfather.

Protasevich is accused of organizing riots, and faces up to 15 years in jail. Sapega has been accused of causing unrest.

The European Union imposed economic sanctions on Belarus over the grounding of their flight on Thursday (June 24), targeting the country’s main export industries and access to finance.

In response, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko had this to say:

"(We will show those) on that side of the border that their sanctions it’s, you see, it’s their own powerlessness. That’s what we have to show them. And we will.”

Belarusian opposition politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya - who is now based in Lithuania - called the pair's move good news.

But she said that “house arrest does not mean freedom ... They remain hostages."

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