Jan. 6 Insurrectionist Granted Asylum In Belarus, According To State Media

California man and Jan. 6 Capitol rioter Evan Neumman gives an interview on Belarusian state-owned TV channel Belarus 1 in November, 2021. (Belteleradio/YouTube)

48-year-old Evan Neumann of California, aka the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrectionist who fled to Belarus last year to escape the FBI, has been granted asylum in the eastern European country, according to Belarusian state-owned news agency BELTA.

Neumann “received refugee status in Belarus,” BELTA reported on Tuesday, per Russian news agency Interfax. “The document was handed to him today at the Department of Citizenship and Migration of the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Brest Regional Executive Committee.”

Everything’s gone swimmingly, according to Neumann, who ran away from the U.S. in February last year.

“I feel safe in Belarus. I’m calm, I like it in the country,” the refugee reportedly said, per BELTA. “Today I have mixed feelings. I’m glad because Belarus took care of me. I’m upset because I found myself in such a situation that problems arose in my native country.”

Some of those “problems” are the 14 criminal counts Neumann’s been indicted on, which include assaulting police officers and engaging in violence with a deadly or dangerous weapon, after he and the rest of the pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year.

Neumann is now on the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list.

After fleeing from the U.S. on Feb. 16, according to the FBI, the insurrectionist reemerged in November in a state-run Belarus 1 TV segmented titled “Goodbye, America!” during which he recounted a bizarre tale of navigating swamps and feral hogs while traveling from Ukraine to Belarus.

Neumann claimed he faced “torture” in the U.S. as his explanation for seeking refuge in Belarus, a country notorious for torturing its political prisoners.

But Belarus 1 TV heralded Neumann as a brave individual who “sought justice and asked uncomfortable questions” and is “being persecuted” for it.

News of Minsk granting Neumann asylum comes with the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which was partially facilitated by the Belarusian government (though Belarus has largely avoided direct involvement in the conflict).

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: