Press Release

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - on the diversion of a passenger aircraft over Belarus

24 May 2021

  • Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General 
UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Caption: UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Photo: © UN

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned over the apparent forced landing of a passenger aircraft over Belarus on 23 May and the subsequent detention of Mr. Roman Protasevich, a Belarusian journalist on board. The Secretary-General supports calls for a full, transparent and independent investigation into this disturbing incident and urges all relevant actors to cooperate with such an inquiry. 

The Secretary-General also remains greatly concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus in the aftermath of last August’s presidential elections. He urges the Belarusian authorities to fully respect all its international human rights obligations, including in relation to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association.

‘Urgent meeting’ called by UN civil aviation industry

For its part, ICAO tweeted on Sunday that it was “seriously concerned” over the incident, which could be in contravention of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, known as the Chicago Convention, signed in 1944, which governs the principles and rules of the airline industry.

On Monday, the agency said ICAO’s Council President, Salvatore Sciacchitano, had called an urgent meeting of the 36 diplomatic representatives that make up the ruling body, on the Ryanair incident, for this coming Wednesday.

 

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General - on the diversion of a passenger aircraft over Belarus

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