Families in anguish over pair held in Belarus

The families of a dissident journalist and his girlfriend, held after a plane was diverted to Belarus, have spoken of their concern for their safety.

Roman Protasevich and his Russian girlfriend Sofia Sapega are now in detention.

“I’m calling on the whole international community to save him,” said his mother Natalia Protasevich.

A video of Ms Sapega was released on Tuesday as authorities said they would hold her for at least two months.

In the video, Ms Sapega says she edits a Telegram channel which publishes personal information of Belarusian policemen.

However, it is likely she is speaking under duress.

A lawyer for Ms Sapega has said that she will be detained for at least two months.

Ms Sapega and Mr Protasevich were detained on Sunday, when a plane flying from Athens to Vilnius, in neighbouring Lithuania, was diverted to land in Minsk, the Belarusian capital.

Western countries accuse Belarus of hijacking the Ryanair plane that was rerouted over a supposed bomb threat.

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