“Mama” was the only message that Sofya Sapega, a 23-year-old Russian student, managed to get to her mother before contact was lost for good after her Ryanair jet was forced to land in Minsk, escorted by a fighter jet. Several hours after the text arrived Sofya was in a Belarusian KGB jail, detained with her boyfriend in a brazen capture that has stunned Europe and the world. Her principal crime appears to have been travelling with Roman Protasevich, a 26-year-old dissident blogger accused of helping organise massive pro-democracy protests in Belarus last year. “We thought that Roman might be in trouble but to think that Sofya would be in trouble, too…” Ms Sapega’s stepfather Sergei Dudich told the Sunday Telegraph. “When she was detained, we assumed they were holding her as Roman’s girlfriend and that she’d be out soon. Then came the confession.”
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