MPs from Germany, the Netherlands and Austria take over godparenthood for Hanna Sunhurava, Daniil Bohnat and Mikalai Saseu
As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Nicola Beer (European Parliament, FDP, Germany), Bram van Ojik (Second Chamber, Groenlinks, Netherlands) and Helmut Brandstätter (National Council, Neos, Austria) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Hanna Sunhurava was arrested on 25 September and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament, said on the occasion of her taking over her prisoner’s godparenthood for Hanna Sunhurava: “I am Hanna Sunhurava’s godmother. She was arrested on 25 September. Imprisoned for her work for freedom, democracy and human rights in Belarus. In the middle of Europe. This is unacceptable! I would therefore like to say to Hanna and to all of you: we will not leave you alone, we stand with you against the oppressive regime of the ruler Lukashenka. We stand with you when you take to the streets for your rights, when you stand up against electoral fraud, oppression and violence. We stand with you when you are arbitrarily arrested and attempts are made to suppress your voice, to intimidate you. We stand with you and make your fate public so that the Lukashenka regime knows that its arbitrariness will not go unrecognised. In every single case. For Hanna Sunhurava and all Belarusian citizens, I call on the regime to release political prisoners immediately and to clear the way for a new democratic start in Belarus. Europe is at your side, Hanna.”
Daniil Bohnat was arrested during the protests against the Lukashenka regime and is suspected of being involved in Article 293 (“organisation of mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Bram van Ojik, foreign policy spokesman for the Groenlinks faction in the Dutch Second Chamber, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Daniil Bohnat and stated: “I urge Lukashenka to free all Belarusian political prisoners. They are fully entitled to speak out against authoritarianism. Daniil Bohnat was arrested during demonstrations in Pinsk as one of the many thousands arrested just for taking to the streets. His activism shows that the discontent is felt widely beyond Belarus’s major cities. I am urging the immediate release for Daniil and all other political prisoners. #WeStandByYou”
Mikalai Saseu was arrested during the night of 12-13 August together with Uladzislau Karetski and later charged under Article 293 (“organisation of mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Helmut Brandstätter, spokesman for foreign policy, research and development of the Neos faction in the Austrian National Council, has taken over the godparenthood for Mikalai Saseu. He declared: “To all people in Belarus: You are not alone! The scenes that have reached us from Belarus in recent months must be deeply condemned. We stand for freedom, democracy and the rule of law, everywhere – the voices of the people must finally be heard! It is not acceptable that violent action is taken against peaceful demonstrators, that they are arrested and imprisoned, that opposition members have to flee their own country. I therefore call for the release of Mikalai Saseu, who was arrested during a demonstration in Minsk on 13 August and is accused of “organising mass riots”. President Lukashenka must finally stop oppressing and persecuting his own people! We must resolutely oppose this – as Austria, as Europe. But we do not want sanctions that affect the people, rather it must be sanctions that affect dictator Lukashenka and his supporters! In any case, we will not stop supporting the democratic movement in Belarus”.