Ambassador: Belarus 'a threat to international peace and security'

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Estonia "strongly condemned" the "hijacking" of a plane by Minsk and said Belarus' actions "poses a threat to international peace and security", at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

The topic was raised by Estonia, France and Ireland supported by Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States and Estonia's UN ambassador Sven Jürgenson read out a statement.

He said although the last council meeting ended with hope that serious human rights violations in Belarus would soon end, this has not happened.

"The hijacking of a plane is yet another escalation in the crackdown of dissenting voices. It constitutes a new and extremely dangerous phase in the Belarusian authorities' campaign of repression against its own people. It is a clear example how grave human rights violations often lead to serious international security threats," the ambassador said.

"We strongly condemn the forced landing and the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega. This act is an attack against international civilian aviation safety, in clear violation with the international law and poses a threat to international peace and security," he added.

Jürgenson said most members of the Security Council are seriously concerned about the actions of the Belarussian authorities, called for an international investigation and demanded the immediate release of Protasevich and Sapega 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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