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Russian citizen Sapega who is under house arrest in Minsk may return home soon — lawyer

In Minsk, Sofia Sapega has been placed under house arrest

MINSK, June 25. /TASS/. Russian national Sofia Sapega, who is currently under house arrest in Minsk, may return home soon, and the restraint imposed on her may be lifted, her family’s lawyer Anton Gashinsky told TASS on Friday.

"Sofia has been placed under house arrest. We hope that she will be able to return home soon without any restrictions," he said.

According to Gashinsky, the charges against Sapega have not been dropped yet, and investigative actions are underway.

The Russian Embassy in Belarus confirmed to TASS that Sapega had been placed under house arrest, and the issue of a possible visit by a Russian consul is being addressed. According to the embassy’s spokesman Alexei Maskalev, Russian diplomats are cooperating with the Belarusian Investigative Committee.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Protasevich, the father of opposition blogger Roman Protasevich, told the BBC that Roman was under house arrest as well. "They are still under the full control of the authorities, no one has dropped charges against them," he said.

Sapega was detained at Minsk airport on May 23 along with Roman Protasevich, one of the co-founders of the Nexta Telegram channel, which was recognized as extremist in Belarus, after the landing of a Ryanair flight. The Vilnius-bound plane that took off from Athens was forced to make an emergency landing in Minsk after a reported bomb threat. No bomb was found. According to a video posted on the Internet, Sapega said she was an editor of the Black Book of Belarus Telegram channel, which discloses personal data of Belarusian law enforcers. The channel was recognized as extremist in Belarus in April.