A January 6 protester who is facing six criminal charges related to the Capitol being stormed has been granted asylum in Belarus.
Evan Neumann, 48, was charged in July with charges that include violent entry, disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and assaulting, resisting and obstructing law enforcement. The FBI claims that they have footage of him assaulting an officer.
Soon after the charges were filed, Neumann sold his California home for $1.3 million and fled to Belarus.
“To get to Belarus, Neumann flew to Italy, then got on a train to Switzerland, and drove to Ukraine via Germany and Poland. Once in Ukraine, he rented an apartment for six months but claims he was being followed by the Ukrainian secret service. He then says he crossed illegally into Belarus by wading through swamps, and dodged wild hogs and snakes. He was held by Belarusian border authorities on August 15,” the Daily Mail reports.
Evan Neumann is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for violence at the #Capitol.
Turns out he’s fled into the welcoming arms of the Belarusian dictatorship.
Here he is appearing on State TV in a segment called “Goodbye America.”
— John Scott-Railton (@jsrailton) November 8, 2021
In footage of the protest, according to the FBI, Neumann can be heard screaming at officers about how they are “defending the people who are going to kill your f-cking children.”
“They are going to kill your f-cking children, they are gonna rape them, they are gonna imprison them, and you’re defending the people that are going to do this to your children,” the indictment alleges that he said.
The indictment goes on to claim that after a heated exchange with police, Neumann refused to move away from the barricades and tried to push one into an officer.
“Eventually, he allegedly punches J.M., and the crowd succeeds in breaking down the barrier. J.M. then tried to wrestle the metal barricade out of Neumann’s hands, the indictment states, but Neumann used it as a battering ram, lifted it off the ground and used it to strike the officer,” the Mail report explains.
It is unclear if the FBI had seized his passport, but Neumann has a pilot’s license and a private airplane.
On Sunday, Neumann spoke to news station Belarus 1, in a segment titled “Goodbye, America.”
“Judging by his story, [Neumann] is the same type of simple American whose shops were burned by Black Lives Matter activists,” the reporter said as they introduced him.
“However, something makes him flee from the country of fabulous freedoms and opportunities, as we used to believe,” the reporter said, adding that Neumann “sought justice and asked uncomfortable questions” causing him to lose “almost everything and is being persecuted by the U.S. government.”
Neumann told the station that the claims that he hit a police officer are “terrible” and that there is “no reason for this.” He added that he is the victim of political persecution.
Neumann is now on the FBI’s Most Wanted Criminals List.
Belarusian migration authorities say that at least three Americans have applied for asylum so far in 2021. Belarus does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.