A California man who was indicted on 14 charges last December over his alleged actions during the Jan. 6th riot has absconded from justice by fleeing to and obtaining asylum from the Russian-allied country of Belarus.
“U.S. citizen Evan Neumann has received refugee status in Belarus. The document was handed to him today in the Department of Citizenship and Migration of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Brest Regional Executive Committee,” The Belarusian Telegraph Agency (BelTA) reported in a tweet posted Tuesday morning.
Гражданин США Эван Ньюман получил статус беженца в Беларуси. Документ ему вручили в управлении по гражданству и миграции УВД Брестского облисполкома 22 марта 2022. https://t.co/kYYLn5zVKx pic.twitter.com/l1VrGFg6hY
— БЕЛТА (@beltanews) March 22, 2022
“I feel safe in Belarus. It’s calm, I like it in this country. Today I am experiencing mixed feelings. I’m glad that Belarus has taken care of me. I’m upset that I wound up in this situation, that in my native country there were such problems,” BelTA quoted Neumann as saying.
According to CNN, Neumann was indicted in December on charges including “assaulting a police officer and engaging in physical violence on Capitol grounds.”
He allegedly punched “two officers at the Capitol on January 6” and used “a metal barricade as a ‘battering ram’ to strike officers trying to stop the mob.”
The story of how exactly he wound up in Belarus traces back to July of last year, when reports emerged that federal authorities had issued an arrest warrant for him over his Jan. 6th actions, as reported at the time by California’s The Press Democrat.
There was just one problem: He’d already sold his home and fled to Ukraine.
“There was pressure to close. The last we heard is he was in Ukraine,” the new homeowner, Jason Dubaniewicz, told Bay Area station KGO at the time, describing how Neumann had rushed the sale of his home.
Four months later, Neumann suddenly turned up on Belarusian state TV begging for asylum.
“In a one-on-one with a Belarusian reporter, Neumann maintained his innocence and said he was being politically persecuted,” as reported at the time by CBS News.
“A Belarus 1 TV channel presenter introduced him as an American who ‘sought justice and asked uncomfortable questions’ after former U.S. President Donald Trump challenged the results of the 2020 election, adding that Neumann ‘lost almost everything and is being persecuted by the U.S. government.'”
“California native, high school educated, married, two children, a business owner. One among millions of Americans just like him. Of course, he is politically active — not like Edward Snowden, he didn’t have access to state secrets — but something forced him to flee the land of fabulous freedoms and opportunities, as we used to think of it,” the reporter reportedly said in the video above.
“I do not believe that I have committed any crime. One of the accusations was very upsetting. It is alleged that I hit a police officer. That is baseless,” Neumann reportedly added.
He also explained the alleged tribulations he’d faced in trying to reach Belarus.
“Neumann said he first flew to Italy, then took a train to Switzerland, rented a car to travel via Germany to Poland before finally arriving in Ukraine, where he settled in a rented apartment,” according to CBS News.
“After four months of living in central Zhytomyr, Neumann claimed he noticed surveillance by SBU, Ukraine’s security service, and fled the country, crossing the border with Belarus on foot through swamps near the Chernobyl exclusion zone.”
Of this journey, he said, “It was very difficult to cross it, I started around noon and was only able to get out by half-past two in the morning. I’ve seen wild boars, bumped into snakes, vipers there just go crazy in August, they are very aggressive.”
Apparently, the shtick worked, and he’s now safe from the alleged predations of the U.S. government, as Belarus has no extradition treaty with America.
#US citizen Evan Newman, who stormed the #American Capitol a year ago, received refugee status in #Belarus. He wants to take his family from the United States. There are several criminal charges against him in the US.
He stated that he feels safe here and plans to do business. pic.twitter.com/DKriX1qfNR
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 22, 2022
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 22, 2022
Neumann is the first and only Jan. 6th rioter to successfully flee the nation.
Two months ago, federal authorities arrested another Jan. 6th rioter, Jeffrey Sabol, whom they claimed had purchased a plane ticket to Switzerland following the riot.
NEW: Docs released for Jeffrey Sabol, the Colorado geophysicist who allegedly beat up an officer during the riots—then tried to flee to Switzerland the next day.
Sabol was also arrested in NY on Friday. https://t.co/Wu95wvcgqx
— Pilar Melendez (@pbmelendez) January 27, 2021
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