A man who is wanted by the FBI in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is seeking asylum in Belarus, the country's state media reported on Monday.
Evan Neumann, 48, is wanted in the United States on several charges, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds and assaulting and resisting law enforcement during civil disorder, The Washington Post reports.
On Monday, Belarusian state media released a preview of an interview conducted with Neumann, with the presenter declaring that Neumann "sought justice and asked uncomfortable questions" and "lost almost everything and is being persecuted by the U.S. government." The Post reports that Neumann told state media a lawyer suggested he go to Europe before he could be added to the FBI's Most Wanted List, and after four months in Ukraine, he crossed into Belarus on foot. He also said he doesn't think he committed any crime.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, known as "Europe's last dictator," has accused the U.S. of encouraging protesters who marched against Lukashenko last year, accusing him of stealing the presidential election; most of the international community agrees the election was rigged in Lukashenko's favor. Thousands of protesters were arrested and beaten, with some saying they were tortured in prison.
Tim O'Connor, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Belarus that is based in Lithuania, told the Post in a statement that because of privacy laws, he was limited in what he could say about Neumann.