Belarusian State Security Committee Chairman Ivan Tertel labeled opposition journalist Roman Protasevich a “terrorist” Wednesday, citing information obtained during an ongoing investigation following his detention over the weekend.
"There is no doubt that the person fully matches the definition of a terrorist, a mercenary, a participant of bloody events as part of the notorious Azov Battalion and abuses and murders of civilians in Ukraine's southeast. It is not only our information and information of the investigators but facts readily available in mass media. These include personal confessions of Roman Protasevich, which are publicly available," said Tertel, speaking to parliamentarians and other state officials.
He said Protasevich remains in custody and the investigation is still underway.
Underlining that Protasevich used this experience against Belarus, Tertel added that the journalist was an organizer and coordinator of mass riots which threated the lives and well-being of common Belarusians and law enforcement officers.
He noted that Protasevich was the cofounder of a channel on the Telegram messenger service that Minsk had deemed extremist.