Belarus: Pratasevich cries on state television

The Belarusian state television broadcaster ONT aired a lengthy interview with the imprisoned government critic Roman Pratasevich in which the 26-year-old blogger - breaking down in tears at times - admitted to organising protests against President Lukashenka and said he in fact admired the president. Belarusian opposition activists in exile and Pratasevich's parents are convinced that the interview was the result of torture.

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Novaya Gazeta (RU) /

Age-old practice of demonstrating power

Novaya Gazeta says the interview should be ignored for Pratasevich's sake at least:

“The genre of public humiliation of an opponent as a demonstration of power is ancient, and has been developed to perfection by adepts. It has been cultivated by ancient Greek tyrants and medieval kings and modern-day presidents alike. ... With regard to this young man, the best thing to do is pretend that the interview doesn't exist. And with regard to its initiator, author and director, over the past year everything has become crystal clear.”

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Stop advertising on state television

Nestlé is de facto supporting the Lukashenka regime, the Tages-Anzeiger criticises:

“ONT isn't only financed by the Belarusian state, it also earns a lot of money from advertising. First and foremost from Nestlé. While other companies appear once per commercial break, the Swiss company advertises two or three products. ... Even if Nestlé can hardly influence the state's machinations or the channel's programming, the company from Vevey must have been aware for some time of what it is promoting with its advertising money. It's no secret that TV stations like ONT or Belarus 1 play a leading role in Lukashenka's repressive apparatus.”