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Thu May 27, 2021, 11:27 AM

Belarus: I'm ready to beg for help, says mother of detained woman

Belarus: I'm ready to beg for help, says mother of detained woman
By Sarah Rainsford
BBC News, Minsk
May 27,2021

For Anna Dudich, nothing will ever be the same again. Her daughter, Sofia Sapega, was on board Ryanair Flight 4978 from Athens to Vilnius when the plane was forcibly diverted to the capital of Belarus. Sofia and her boyfriend, the prominent opposition activist Roman Protasevich, were arrested on arrival in Minsk.

"We are in such a state that we don't believe this is happening to us, to our daughter," Dudich tells me, her eyes brimming with tears.The last she heard from her daughter was a text message with a single word, "Mama", before the phone went dead.

…Russia gave critical backing to the president last year when his quarter-century grip on power threatened to slip, and Lukashenko will meet Vladimir Putin again on Friday. The Ryanair flight incident shows just how far that support has emboldened him: the Kremlin says it has "no reason not to trust" his description of events…But the move has broken two more families in Belarus…
"I'm frightened for her," Dudich says of her daughter, who is still waiting to see a lawyer in her KGB prison. "She's still a kid. A normal student. I am sure all this is a mistake."

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