A man listed on the FBI's most wanted list for his involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has reportedly been granted asylum in Belarus.
Belarusian state media reports that 48-year-old Evan Neumann “received refugee status in Belarus'' this week. Neumann is facing five charges, including assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, obstructing law enforcement during civil disorder, and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.
The FBI states that Neumann should be considered armed and dangerous.
A video posted by Belarusian state-owned news agency BelTA shows Neumann signing a document and, according to the subtitles, thanking the country. The Belarusian official with him says, “You are completely under the protection of the Republic of Belarus.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is a close ally of Vladimir Putin and has sided with Russia in the Ukraine war.
Neumann has been in Belarus for some time now. In a previously aired segment on Belarusian state TV entitled “Goodbye America,” Neumann said he initially fled the United States in February 2021—he was charged in relation to Jan. 6 a month after leaving. He first travelled throughout the EU and eventually made his way to Ukraine.
Neumann said in the newscast that he believed he was being followed by Ukrainian intelligence officers, so he illegally crossed into Belarus, north of Chernobyl. Upon entering the country, he was arrested by officials and sought asylum. In the interview, Neumann and the Belarusian state TV network question if Jan. 6 was a “false flag” event perpetrated by the American government, and Neumann is portrayed as a man persecuted by U.S. authorities.
“This is political persecution, not [a] criminal investigation, but political persecution,” Neumann said, according to a transcript of the video.
It was reported that Neumann sold his home in Mill Valley, California, in April 2021 for $1.3 million. According to a local media report, Neumann has worn many hats during his life but worked most recently as a handbag designer.
The criminal complaint against Neumann alleges that he was on the front line of the wave of rioters who rushed the Capital Building on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win. It states he struck an officer and used a metal barricade as a “battering ram” against the same officer. The FBI has obtained a video that allegedly shows Neumann screaming at cops that they’re “defending the people who are going to kill your fucking children,” that they “kneel to antifa,” and that he was “willing to die” that day.
In his Belarusian TV interview, Neumann said he feared being tortured in the United States and said the claims against him are “unfounded.”
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