Malta International Airport (MIA) is one of a number of airports across the EU exhibiting photos of detained Belarussian journalist Roman Protasevich as a mark of solidarity.

Two screens at the MIA arrivals hall at MIA show a photo of Protasevich being dragged off a Ryanair flight in Minsk with the title ‘Free Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega’. 

Protasevich and Sapega were arrested in May after a Ryanair flight carrying them from Greece to Lithuania was forced to divert and land in Belarus. 

An MIA spokesperson confirmed that it was running the billboard in solidarity with the two, in response to a request by European Parliament President David Sassoli for airports across the EU to exhibit photos of the detained journalist as a mark of unity and action. 

“After we were asked by the European Parliament to participate in this initiative, we decided to support the call for solidarity and display the photo of Roman Protasevich," an MIA spokesperson said. 

The two posters will be displayed until the end of June. 

MIA is one of several airports in the EU to have joined the initiative following Sassoli's call, with airports in Brussels, Vilnius, Vienna and Palermo among others to have also shared posters calling for the immediate release of the journalist and his partner. 

The arrest of Protasevich and Sapega provoked an outcry from European leaders and the European Union, and saw a number of EU airlines cutting air links with Belarus.

Air Malta has also said that it will avoid flying over Belarus airspace if, and when, its flights to Moscow will resume. 

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