Capitol suspect flees to Belarus
MOSCOW – A man who took part in the January 6th Capitol riot and is wanted by the FBI is now seeking asylum in Belarus, the country’s state media reported on Monday, presenting him as “an ordinary American whose business is run by activists from Black.” Lives Matter were burned down ”. . “
Evan Neumann, who appears to have sat down for an interview with Belarusian state television in a segment entitled “Goodbye, America”, is wanted in the United States for violent entry and disorderly behavior on the Capitol grounds and for assault. Resisting and Obstructing Law Enforcement During the Civil Unrest.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment.
Both Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and his close ally Russian President Vladimir Putin have made frequent references to the Capitol Rebellion, citing the prosecution of those involved as an example of US “double standards” for cracking down on anti-government protests criticized abroad.
When mass protests against the presidential elections broke out across Belarus last year, widely denounced as rigged by the international community, thousands of demonstrators were beaten and arrested by the police. Many said they were tortured in prison.
But Neumann could be welcomed in Belarus as part of the regime’s anti-Western propaganda. Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, said last year’s opposition movement was fueled by the US to depose him.
In an excerpt from Neumann’s interview, the Belarusian state television presenter said that Neumann had “sought justice and asked uncomfortable questions” after the 2020 US elections. The 48-year-old has “lost almost everything and is being persecuted by the US government,” added the moderator.
The full interview will be broadcast on Wednesday. In the preview released on Monday, Neumann said he went into hiding when he was notified that he would be added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List. A lawyer recommended a trip to Europe, he said. The state television presenter said Neumann had been living in an apartment in Ukraine for four months.
Neumann said Ukrainian security forces followed him and he then came into Belarus on foot through the Ukrainian swamps from Pripyat near Chernobyl. He claimed to have encountered snakes and wild boars on the trip.
The Ukrainian border protection service announced that it did not provide any information on individual cases.
According to the state television report, Belarusian border guards arrested him on August 15. The interview took place in the Belarusian city of Brest.
Neumann said he didn’t think he’d committed a crime.
Information on this article was contributed by David L. Stern of The Washington Post.