Belorussian dissident arrested while in transit - the importance of anonymous travels

The Belorussian journalist Раман Дзмітрыевіч Пратасевіч was arrested while flying from Poland to Lithuania with Ryan Air - the plane was requested to land in Minsk while passing Belorussian air territory, and the pilot had to comply.

One of the questions that churns in my head is ... how did they know that he was on that plane? I suppose their intelligence have been targeting him, possibly they have even found it through public sources. Maybe his travel plans was publicly available through his social media feeds. I also see another possibility though, they may have gotten it from the passenger lists. They are not only stored by Ryan Air, but various intelligence services have full access to the passenger lists. Perhaps even the Belorussian authorities can demand to get the lists from Ryan Air since they are passing Belorussian air territory.

I think this highlights that it's important to be able to travel anonymous. It's a right that is taken gradually away from us - travel companies requesting personal data from the passengers, monitoring of the positions of cell phones, etc.

Sources

I read this first at the Norwegian National Broadcaster (NRK), but you can read about this in almost any news outlet, including wikipedia.

Image credits

The image was found on Internet, Charter97.org - copyrights may apply

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