More German MPs stand with Belarusian political prisoners
As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, members of German Bundestag Tabea Rößner (Alliance90/The Greens), Ulli Nissen (SPD) and Albert Stegemann (CDU) have taken over a godparenthood for Belarusian political prisoners Aliaksei Karatkou, Volha Klaskouskaya and Siarhei Liazhenka.
Aliaksei Karatkou is CEO of the start-up MakeML. He was arrested on August 27th on the Independence Square in Minsk. Karatkou was initially sentenced to 8 days under Article 23.34 of the Administrative Code for participating in an unauthorised demonstration. On 4 September, immediately after his release from custody, he was charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Tabea Rößner, member of the German Bundestag and deputy member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has taken over the godparenthood for Aliaksei Karatkou and declared: “Solidarity has no borders! 100 days after the presidential elections in Belarus, thousands of opposition members are still unjustly in prison. One of them is the 25-year-old founder of an AI start-up, Aliaksei Karatkou. He has been imprisoned in Minsk since the 27th of August 2020. The charge is that he organised and financed government protests. He risks being imprisoned for three years. The real reason for his arrest, however, is his desire for democracy. The desire of a better future in Belarus. As a convinced democrat, I stand alongside the democracy movement and call on the Lukashenko regime to release Mr.Karatkou and all other political prisoners immediately. Belarus needs free and democratic elections immediately!
Volha Klaskouskaya is a journalist and was arrested in Minsk on October 14th. She is accused of disturbing public order under Article 342 of the Criminal Code.
Ulli Nissen, Member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood of Volha Klaskouskaya and states: “The example in Belarus shows how men cling to their power in an unjust state. Specially strong women like Volha Klaskouskaya who fight for freedom and democracy in their country are being detained for it. All democratic forces in Europe have to call out: You are not alone – we stand by your side for free elections in Belarus”.
Siarhei Liazhenka was arrested in Pinsk and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. He is being detained in the detention centre at Baranavičy.
Albert Stegemann, Member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Siarhei Liazhenka and on the occasion of the godparenthood he stated: “From the German Bundestag in Berlin it is only 700 kilometres to Belarus. I am deeply worried by the fact that demonstrators like Siarhei Liazhenka are being detained there – in the middle of Europe – sometimes for months. I call for the immediate and unconditional release of Siarhei Liazhenka and the other political prisoners. The piece of wall behind me comes from the Gdansk shipyard and commemorates the founding of the Polish trade union movement “Solidarność”. I would like to express here and now my solidarity with the Belarusian people. We stand BY you – we stand behind you!”