Wanted US Capitol insurrectionist asks Belarus for asylum – State TV

An American man wanted in the US on charges of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds after taking part in the infamous January 6 riot in Washington is now in Belarus, and has asked Minsk to grant him asylum.

In an interview with Belarusian state media, Evan Neumann claimed that the accusations against him are “unfounded.”

Neumann is also charged with “assaulting, redirecting, or impeding” law enforcement officers and “knowingly entering or remaining in” a restricted building.

The American says he moved in March from California to Ukraine, where he stayed for four months. He claims that, after just two weeks, he saw Ukrainian Security Service officers following him, which eventually led to his decision to move to Belarus and seek asylum.

On his journey to Belarus, he trekked across swamps of northern Ukraine before reaching the border near Pinsk.

According to the FBI, Neumann was a part of the mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump that stormed the United States Capitol in Washington on January 6 this year. The attack, known commonly as ‘the insurrection’, sought to disrupt and delay the Electoral College vote count that would confirm Joe Biden’s election as the 46th US president. The rioting led directly to five deaths and has since been blamed for four police officers committing suicide.

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Speaking to Belarusian TV, Neumann claimed that he was innocent.

“I’m charged, I believe, with six cases. And I think all of them are felonies. A felony is a very serious charge. It means you hurt somebody or something,” he explained. “I don’t think I committed any crime. One of the charges was very serious. The allegation is that I hit a police officer. It is completely unfounded.”

Neumann doesn’t deny that he was at the riot.

In the words of TV channel Belarus 1, Neumann “sought justice” and “asked uncomfortable questions,” and is now “being persecuted by the US government.”

According to Belarus’ Ministry of Internal Affairs, three US citizens have applied for refugee status, protection, or asylum in Belarus in 2021.

Neumann’s trek through Ukraine’s swampy forests wasn’t his first trip to the country. According to the FBI, he took part in the Western-backed Orange Revolution in 2004 and 2005, which led to a pro-NATO/anti-Russian government in Kiev.

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