Belarus has granted refugee status to Capitol riot defendant Evan Neumann, Belarusian state-run media reported, showing a photo of him holding country documents.
According to BBC News, Evan Neumann fled the United States after being charged in connection with the January 6th riots. He first went to Ukraine before having to go to Belarus to seek asylum.
Reports show he claimed he faced “political persecution” in the US. A Belarusian official stated that Neumann has been granted permission to stay in Belarus “indefinitely.”
Supposedly the 48-year-old had been forced to cross the Belarusian border illegally. State officials say he attracted “interest from local secret services” in Ukraine.
The Belarusian Telegraph Agency reported on Twitter that “US citizen Evan Newman received refugee status in Belarus. The document was handed to him in the Department of Citizenship and Migration of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Brest Regional Executive Committee on March 22, 2022.”
US officials stated that Neumann had left for the country after receiving 14 charges in connection to the Capitol riots. The charges against him include civil disorder; assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; and engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds, according to The Hill.
The news comes as Russia has invaded Ukraine, and Belarus has been seen as complicit in Russia’s actions.
ARTICLE: JILLIAN WEIDNER
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS