MPs from Lithuania, Austria and Germany join "godparenthood" campaign
As part of the Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Rasa Juknevičienė (European Parliament, Lithuania), Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic (National Council, Austria) and Delara Burkhardt (European Parliament, Germany) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus: Yury Ulasau, Maryna Hlazava and Aleh Mazhou.
Yury Ulasau is a representative of the presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the Gomel region and was arrested on 6 August. He has been charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“organisation of mass unrest”).
Rasa Juknevičienė, Member of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Yury Ulasau. She stated: “By taking part in this campaign, I want to reassure everyone who is fighting for freedom and democracy in Belarus, that you are not alone! Lukashenka can put pepole behind bars but he cannot close them off from the world. The desire for freeodm cannot be locked up in jail. I am here to tell the political prisoners of Belarus that we are with you. We see you and we hear you even if you are forced into isolation.”
Maryna Hlazava was arrested on 25 September for taking part in a dance event in Brest. She was charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“group acts which seriously violate public order”).
Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, spokesperson for foreign policy of the Green parliamentary group in the Austrian National Council, declared on the occasion of taking over her prisoner’s godparenthood: “I pay my full respect to all citizens of Belarus who do not allow themselves to be intimidated in the face of state repression and who confidently stand up for their democratic voice. Their courage and steadfastness are impressive. I would like to show my solidarity with the Belarusian democracy movement and have therefore taken on the godparenthood for the political prisoner Maryna Hlazava through the arrangement of the human rights organisation Libereco. She was arrested despite the fact that Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Belarus is also a party, expressly guarantees the right of free assembly. I therefore call for the immediate release of Maryna Hlazava and the remaining political prisoners in Belarus.”
Aleh Mazhou was arrested in a criminal case for taking part in riots and charged with this under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Delara Burkhardt, member of the SPD parliamentary group in the European Parliament, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Aleh Mazhou. She declared: “WeStandBYyou – I demand the release of political prisoner Aleh Mazhou! After the presidential elections on 9 August, the regime of Alexander Lukashenka is taking tough action against the opponents, their campaign teams, bloggers, peaceful demonstrators, members of the opposition and civil society. During demonstrations, arrests are repeatedly made, often followed by mistreatment and torture. One of them is 25-year-old Aleh Mazhou, whose release I call for, as well as those of all other illegal detainees.”