Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been facing international criticism for forcing a commercial airliner to change its path and land in his country to hand over a critic.
The Ryanair airliner was flying from Greece to Lithuania when an alleged bomb-scare forced the airliner to go to Belarus.
Western leaders have threatened Lukashenko of dire consequences for his actions. The opposition members have also denounced the move by a head of the state.
The arrested journalist was Roman Protasevich, who is one of the most vocal critics of the President and currently living an exiled life in Lithuania.
The government has accused Protasevich of social hatred and inciting public disorder. He is also designated as a terrorist and will face death penalty if found guilty.
The Belarus conflict
The Eastern European and former soviet country of Belarus has been witnessing protest from its citizens after its President Lukashenko claimed victory in a highly controversial election.
Lukashenko has been ruling the nation since its independence from Soviet Union and this is his sixth straight term at the helm of affairs.
Protasevich has founded an independent media outlet known as NEXTA on Telegram, which serves as an independent news source for the residents.
The media outlet has become a platform for opposition to gather and organise against the regime of Lukashenko.
Protasevich has been part of dissident group from his teenage years. He was expelled from his school as well as university for participating in protest rallies.
He fled Belarus for Lithuania where he gained political asylum. He continued his journalism against Lukashenko regime from his new place of hiding.
The unfolding of events
Protasevich had attended an economic conference in Athens and was returning to Lithuania on the commercial airliner.
The plane was intercepted by Belarusian Air force plane near the border with Lithuania and made to land in Minsk.
Lukashenko was directly responsible for giving the orders to make the plane do a U-turn and return to Minsk to capture the journalist.