Jan. 6 Protestor Wanted by FBI Seeks Asylum in Belarus

In a story that might sound incredible, a US citizen is seeking asylum in Belarus after he had fled the US, where he claims he been the subject of political persecution, Belarusian state television informed on Monday airing a special segment on him.

In an interview titled “Goodbye, America”, California-born Evan Neumann(48), handbag manufacturer from Mill Valley, said that he has been on the run since he was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted list earlier this year for allegedly assaulting cops during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.

Neumann said he started hiding and traveling across America before fleeing to Europe in March on the advice from his lawyer to go on a business trip for his bag company to buy some time and see what will happen with his legal case since no court proceedings were carried out.

He was eventually charged in July with six counts – including assaulting officers and violent entry- over his role in the riots after he was allegedly captured on bodycam video assaulting an officer outside the Capitol.

After leaving the US for Italy in March, Newman traveled to Switzerland by train, then drove first to Germany and then to Poland. By mid-March 13 he arrived in the Ukrainian city of Zhitomir where he lived in a rented apartment for 4 months.

After he noticed in August that he was being followed by the Ukrainian authorities, Newman decided to flee and crossed by foot into Belarus, the former Soviet republic that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US and has been ruled by authoritarian president Alexander Lukashenko since 1994.

Newman, whose LinkedIn profile shows he attended the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in 2004 and 2005, said he doesn’t believe he has committed any crime by participating in Jan. 6 riots and claims he had no reason to hit a police office, as the criminal complaint argues.

Hence, he’s convinced that the case against him is not a criminal investigation, but political persecution. Believing there’s nothing he else he could do at this point he opted for the asylum in Belarus.

Belarusian state television is now preparing a special segment on Newman that is to be aired on November 10.

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