Dictators are capable of anything.

A Boeing 737 flying from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, was intercepted by Belarusian MiG fighters and forced to change course and land in Minsk because the plane was carrying an opponent of Belarusian President Lukashenko, independent journalist and blogger Protasevich.

Such a bizarre and dramatic horror has been happening around the world recently. Journalist and columnist Khashoggi went to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, as promised, to get a divorce certificate, and unfortunately fell into a trap, where Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s mastermind henchmen sent a 15-man Rangers team to the consulate that day specifically to dismember Khashoggi and dismember his body.

Another, to a different but equally horrifying degree, was the ordeal of a 19-year-old Chinese youth, Wang Jingyu, who was wanted by Chinese authorities in February for questioning the truth about the deaths and injuries of Chinese soldiers in clashes on the Sino-Indian front. After months in exile, he was arrested by local police in April while transferring to the United States via Dubai, and Free Asia reports that Chinese embassy and consulate personnel in the UAE showed up one after another while Wang was in custody, with the aim of getting the UAE to repatriate him. The young man now faces deportation to China to stand trial.

Lukashenko, the “president for life” who went up in 1994 and never came down since last year in the face of continuous mass protests by the people of the country, is desperately trying to hold on to Russia to save his faltering presidency while trying to remove domestic dissidents. Protasevich, 26, is one of the founders of NEXTA, a popular Belarusian opposition social media ‘telegraph’ channel that has become the country’s main source of political information under the strongman regime’s repression, providing extensive coverage of anti-government protests and repression by the authorities. As a result, he and another of the channel’s creators were placed on the list of those involved in terrorist activities by the Belarusian Security Service, the equivalent of the KGB. He was charged with “organizing mass disorder, disturbing public order and inciting social hatred.

Belarusian authorities finally learned that Protasevich, who had been living in Lithuania, would return to Lithuania from Athens on a Boeing 737, and Protasevich himself had a bad feeling before boarding the plane, saying in a text sent earlier in the day in the ‘cable’ that he felt he was being watched and that a man next to him in the queue at the border checkpoint tried to take pictures of his documents. When he noticed, the person left.

Giczan, editor-in-chief of the NEXTA channel, affirmed that the 737 passenger plane was mixed with several Belarusian KGB, and that as the plane flew into Belarusian airspace, the agents suddenly went on a rampage, mobbing the crew, who then falsely claimed that a bomb had been found on the plane. AFP asked the Lithuanian airport spokesman what the truth was, and the latter said that the initial information received from Minsk airport was that there had been a fight between the passengers and the crew on the passenger plane.

The “passengers” fought with the crew in the air, claiming that a bomb had been found, giving Belarusian authorities the perfect excuse, according to images published by flightradar24, a website specializing in flight tracking, to intercept the Boeing as it approached the Lithuanian border and was about to leave Belarusian airspace, when a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet took off. 29 fighter jet took off to intercept the plane, which landed at Minsk airport with about 170 passengers on board.

The Belarusian news agency, which is controlled by the authorities, came out to explain that due to the legend that there were explosives on the plane, President Lukashenko personally ordered Belarusian warplanes to take off and escort the airliner all the way to land safely at Minsk airport. After landing, it was checked and no explosives were found. What a dramatic explanation by the official media, everything was so to Lukashenko’s liking!

Observers describe dictators as capable of doing anything to perpetuate their dictatorship, and in order to stabilize the regime or save their reputation, their secret services carefully weave a repertoire, desperately trying to make everything seem “just right” and “seamless”. Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate for marriage formalities, there is no return, coincidentally, he went in just before the Saudi Rangers arrived …… Chinese students encounter may also be a coincidence, he just went to Dubai to transfer, some factors are not entirely clear, but according to several media reports, this incident behind the black hand of Beijing, as for The scene of the Belarusian air show, the play is played even bigger and more coincidental to the excessive.

It was a big coincidence, a stupid but cruel play. With Khashoggi accompanying him on his life and Wang Jingyu’s fate uncertain, Free Asia cites sources familiar with the inside story that there have been many incidents of Xinjiang Uighurs transferring at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports in the UAE being picked up by Chinese police and sent directly to Chinese planes. Protasevich has now lost his freedom. Belarusian opposition leader Tikhanovskaya, who is in exile in Lithuania, tweeted that Protasevich is likely to be sentenced to death by the authorities.

The airliner intercepted by Belarusian military planes on Sunday has since re-taken off, with all passengers gone, except Protasevich.