Belarusian activist ‘back in jail’ after stabbing his throat in court.

Belarusian activists say anti-government campaigner Stepan Latypov has been returned to jail after stabbing himself in the neck during his trial, as relations between Belarus and the West deteriorated further over Minsk’s diversion of a Ryanair flight so that another opposition figure could be arrested.

A bloodied Mr Latypov (41) was rushed to hospital on Tuesday after cutting his throat with a pen in a Minsk courtroom, where he accused investigators of threatening to persecute his relatives unless he confessed to committing crimes during last year’s huge protests against Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Several people died, hundreds were injured and more than 30,000 detained during the police crackdown on the rallies, and Mr Lukashenko’s Russian-backed regime continues to pursue and convict critics of his autocratic 27-year rule.

Belarus last month told a Ryanair flight en route from Greece to Lithuania of a supposed bomb threat on board and diverted it to Minsk, where journalist and activist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega were taken off the plane and arrested.

The EU’s aviation safety agency (EASA) on Wednesday upgraded its warning for Belarus by calling on member states to tell their airlines “that conducting operations in Belarus airspace . . . is no longer allowed” in normal circumstances.

In reaction to Minsk’s diversion of the Ryanair jet on May 23rd, EU leaders barred Belarusian airlines from the bloc’s airspace, and urged EU-based carriers not fly over the country – although a few have continued to do so.

The chief executive of Hungary’s Wizz Air, a major rival of Ryanair, criticised EU efforts to divert carriers around Belarus.

“I don’t think this is the right response. I don’t think aviation should be used as a means for political sanctions,” Jozsef Varadi told Reuters. “Nothing has happened that would have jeopardised flight safety or security. I don’t think anyone was unsafe for a second....It’s a political measure.”

Airspace

Ukraine has joined the EU-led response to the Ryanair incident, and Belarus said it intends to ask the International Civil Aviation Organisation to “assess the legality of the actions of Ukraine and other states that...have imposed bans and restrictions on the use of their airspace for Belarusian air carriers”.

The EU and US have announced plans to impose sanctions on key sectors of the Belarusian economy, and Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said Belarus would be discussed at this month’s alliance summit, along with what he called Minsk’s “close” co-operation with a “more assertive” Russia.

Nato placed restrictions on the access of Belarusian diplomats accredited to the alliance’s Brussels headquarters this week, while Belarus banned most of its 9.5 million people from leaving the country and received the latest $500 million (€409m) tranche from Russia of $1.5 billion (€1.2bn) in agreed loans.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

New report explains how Epstein made his most powerful friends.

New report explains how Epstein made his most powerful friends.

Attorney Brittany Henderson representing 67 of Jeffrey Epstein's victims joins 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' to discuss how some of Epstein's business connections and friends can help serve justice. #FoxNews #Tucker Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fo...

Twitter briefly suspends Dave Portnoy for unknown reason.

Twitter briefly suspends Dave Portnoy for unknown reason.

The Barstool Sports founder was reinstated after uproar, it is still unclear why the media figure was banned. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompass...

Mexico City Metro Collapse Blamed On Poor Construction.

Mexico City Metro Collapse Blamed On Poor Construction.

Officials are under pressure after an independent investigation pointed to structural faults as the cause of the accident. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands tha...

Juneteenth Becomes a Federal Holiday in the US

Juneteenth Becomes a Federal Holiday in the US

African Americans traditionally celebrate and reflect on the anniversary of the announcement that ended slavery in America

Condoleezza Rice explains growing up in segregated Alabama - Everything will be Okay.

Condoleezza Rice explains growing up in segregated Alabama - Everything will be Okay.

This week, Dana sits down with former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Secretary Rice discusses how her father influenced her life and shaped her into the powerful woman she is today and how his guidance helped her during some of the most...

For Juneteenth, Obama reflects on future of democracy and bridging the divide.

For Juneteenth, Obama reflects on future of democracy and bridging the divide.

Former President Barack Obama acknowledged a political divide but said he hopes for unity. He said that the next generation has the responsibility to further equality for all.