A Jan. 6 Rioter Crawled Through Swamps to Seek Asylum in Belarus - DMT NEWS

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A Jan. 6 Rioter Crawled Through Swamps to Seek Asylum in Belarus

An American who is accused of punching a police officer during the Capitol riots is now seeking political asylum in the eastern European country of Belarus.

Evan Neumann, 48, from California, appeared on Belarusian state television on Sunday in a segment entitled “Goodbye, America!” in which he blamed Black Lives Matter for ruining the country and denied any wrongdoing in relation to his actions on Jan. 6, calling the charges against him “unfounded.”

Neumann told Belarus 1 TV that he fled the U.S. on advice from a lawyer. He initially flew to Italy in March, before getting a train to Switzerland and then driving to Ukraine via Germany and Poland

Neumann rented an apartment in the Ukrainian city of Zhytomyr for four months, but claimed in the interview that he was being followed by the Ukrainian secret service, the SBU.

So he decided to cross illegally into Belarus, According to Neumann’s retellling, this trip involved wading through swamps, encounters with wild hogs, and avoiding snakes, before he finally crossed the border into Belarus and was promptly arrested. 

ABC reported in April that Neumann had sold his two-bedroom home in Mill Valley for $1.3 million, just after the Jan. 6 charges were filed.

The FBI is currently looking to speak to Neumann in connection to the role he played in the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. A Department of Justice complaint accuses Neumann of striking a Capitol Police officer and of “​​using the barricade as a battering ram.”  

In total, he’s facing five felony charges related to the Capitol insurrection, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Belarus, which has been governed by authoritarian strongman Alexandr Lukashenko for the last 26 years, has not commented on Neumann’s asylum case. Belarusian migration authorities declined to comment on the situation citing confidentiality of personal data, the Russian state-run RIA Novosti reported Monday.

The U.S. Embassy in Belarus did not immediately respond to VICE News’ request for comment.

This is not Neumann’s first time in this part of the world. According to the DOJ complaint, citing Neumann’s own Linkedin page, he took part in the Ukrainian Orange Revolution in 2004, which overturned the rigged presidential election of Viktor Yanukovych.

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via https://www.DMT.NEWS

David Gilbert, Khareem Sudlow