ICAO - Belarus - Council decision on the Belarusian authorities’ diversion of a commercial flight in 2021 (18 Jul. 2022)


On July 18, following the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) investigation into the diversion of Ryanair Flight FR4978 to Minsk on May 23, 2021, the ICAO Council acknowledged that the Belarusian authorities were responsible for the false bomb threat, which endangered the flight’s passengers and crew. The Council condemned the Belarusian authorities’ violation of both the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation (Montreal Convention).

France commends the ICAO Council on this decision, which confirms that Belarus diverted a commercial flight, thereby facilitating the arrest of opposition journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega. This diversion is part of Belarus’ policy of brutally repressing individuals who are critical of Mr. Lukashenko.

France salutes the courage of Belarusian citizens who have spoken out against Mr. Lukashenko’s regime. We call on the Belarusian authorities to drop all charges against Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega in addition to all the political prisoners being held in Belarus.