The girlfriend of a detained Belarusian journalist Roman Protasevich has appeared in a video posted online where she is seen admitting to crimes against the Belarusian state.
Sofia Sapega, whose Ryanair plane was hijacked and diverted to Belarus so she and Protosavich could be arrested by the regime, has appeared in her own confession video from detention a day after Protasevich appeared in a similar confession video.
Says She Published Details of Security Perosnnel
In a video clip posted on a pro-Lukashenko channel on Telegram, the girlfriend, Sofia Sapega, is seen confessing to the charges against the couple. The 23-year-old Russian student, who was on a flight with Protasevich from Athens, is seen saying that she is the editor of a social media channel that published personal details of Belarusian law enforcement officers.
On Monday, Protasevich, who was dramatically taken into custody through a plane hijacking, appeared online and made a confession, apparently under duress. Appearing on video, dressed in black hoodie and sitting in front of a desk with black markings on his forehead,
Protasevich was seen confessing to organizing mass protests in Belarusian capital Minsk.
Meanwhile, the Russian state media reported that the custody of Sapega has been extended for two months. Russian news agency TASS reported this, citing her father Andrey Sapega.
Sofia's Detention Extended
The Russian Foreign Ministry also revealed that Sofia, who was pursuing her masters degree in Vilnius in Lithuania, was arrested by Belarus "in connection with the suspicion of having committed, between August and September 2020, offenses under several articles of the Belarusian Criminal Code."
Sapega's mother Anna Dudich, who sought international help in freeing her daughter, said Sofia was innocent and was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time. There have been speculations that Sofia, who has been lodged in a notorious prison in Minsk, was tortured to extract the confession.
Protasevich and Sofia were thrown into an SUV by Belarusian security agents on Monday after their plane was escorted into a air force reserve airfield in Minsk by fighter jets under orders of Prime Minister Alexander Lukashenko.
Who is Sofia Sapega?
Sapega is a law student at the university in Vilnius and was holidaying in Greece with Protasevich. She was flying back to Vilnius to defend her Master's thesis at the university to graduate from her five-year course. The university was founded in Minsk in 1992 but forced by Belarusian authorities to relocate in 2004 to neighboring Lithuania.
She is the daughter of Russian businessman Andrey Sapega. Her mother wife Anna Dudich, who lives in Belarus, has been separated from Andrey.
The parents fear that the Belarusian security agencies have been trying to break her up physically and mentally. "I know that the place where she is held now sadly has a really poor reputation, with accounts of a certain kind about what goes on there," said Andrey Sapega.
"However strong she is, the guys now dealing with the destiny of my daughter, they can break anyone," he added.
Belarusian protesters, meanwhile, were seen attempting to break the security camera on walls of the notorious Okrestina Street prison, where Sofia is feared to be undergoing torture.
Sofia's mother Anna said she has written to Russian President Vladimir Putin, requesting him to intervene. "I sent a letter to the President of Russia's administration asking for help. I don't know the efficiency of these letters but I have no other options," she said, according to The Sun.