New godparents for Belarusian political prisoners
As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Karl Lamers (CDU), Matthias Bartke (SPD), Sandra Weeser (FDP), Mark Hauptmann (CDU), Detlef Müller (SPD) and Frank Müller-Rosentritt (FDP) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
They supported Dzmitry Ivashkou, Dzianis Dzemukh, Mikita Hancharou, Ihar Salavei, Yauhen Dzmitryeu and Yauhen Prapolski.
Dzmitry Ivashkou was arrested in Gomel during a peaceful protest and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. He is being held in the detention centre in Minsk.
Karl Lamers is a member of the German Bundestag and is the godparent for Dzmitry Ivashkou. The CDU politician stated: “I have taken over the godparenthood for Dzmitry Ivashkou. He is one of the many people in Belarus whose strength and power I admire. People who demonstrate on the streets for a future of peace and freedom; not knowing if they will be punished with prison and torture for their courage. Lukashenka is still not interested in a genuine dialogue with the people demonstrating peacefully. I urge Lukashenka to release all political prisoners in Belarus”.
Dzianis Dzemukh was arrested on 4 October. Dzianis is accused of disturbing public order under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Matthias Bartke is a member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party and has taken over the godparenthood for Dzianis Dzemukh. On this occasion Dr. Bartke stated: “Dzianis Dzemukh protested on the streets as one out of thousands against dictator Lukashenka. He stood up quite rightly against the falsified election results. The fact that he was put in prison for it is unbearable. I condemn the regime’s actions and express my solidarity with all political prisoners. It is finally time for Lukashenka to release these innocent people, resign and pave the way for new elections”.
Mikita Hancharou was arrested and beaten by the police in August while working in Brest. He is charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Sandra Weeser is a member of the German Bundestag for the FDP and has taken over the godparenthood of Mikita Hancharou. On this occasion she stated: “Today I am taking over the godparenthood for Mikita Hancharou, a young software developer from Brest in Belarus. In August, Mikita protested together with many of his friends and fellow citizens against the election rigging of ruler Lukashenka. A few days later he was arrested at his workplace and beaten in custody. Mikita has shown courage and demands nothing more than free and fair elections. I therefore call for his release and am now trying to contact him and his family. He and all people in Belarus have a right to live and vote just as freely as we do in Germany. They have our full support in their fight for freedom”.
Ihar Salavei was arrested in Pinsk and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. He is held in the detention centre at Baranavičy.
Mark Hauptmann, member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Interparliamentary Group Germany-Belarus, has taken over the godparenthood for Ihar Salavei and declared: “As Chairman of the Interparliamentary Group Germany-Belarus of the German Bundestag, I am proud to take over a godparenthood for Ihar Salavei. For months courageous citizens in Belarus like Mr. Salavei have been campaigning for freedom, justice and democracy. I call on the Belarusian government to refrain from using violence against peaceful demonstrations, to release all those imprisoned for political reasons as soon as possible and to hold free and fair new elections”.
Yauhen Dzmitryeu was arrested near his home on 4 October. Yauhen is accused of disturbing public order under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Detlef Müller, member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Yauhen Dzmitryeu and states: “I express my solidarity with the protesters in Belarus who are protesting against the recognition of clearly rigged elections and the corrupt Lukashenka government. The peaceful protests were brutally oppressed, the protesters were beaten and imprisoned. Yauhen Dzmitryeu was imprisoned because he wanted his vote to count. I demand his immediate release and the release of all political prisoners!”
Yauhen Prapolski was arrested on 29 September after he was reported on television. He was charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Frank Müller-Rosentritt, member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Yauhen Prapolski. For this occasion he states: “We have not forgotten you! Yauhen was arrested on 29 September because he was portrayed in a reportage as an administrator of “anonymous” chats and demonstrations. Yauhen is going to be indicted soon. We cannot allow such unbelievable violations of human rights to continue in the middle of Europe. Yauhen has committed himself to freedom, democracy and human rights and should not be punished for this. That is why I have decided to become his godfather. It is important for me to send a clear signal at a time when the protests are receiving less and less international attention: You are not alone! Your commitment against electoral fraud, oppression and violence, for human rights does not go unnoticed. We will make your fate public. We will make the arbitrariness of the Lukashenka government transparent. We must increase pressure to ensure that all political prisoners are released. Belarus needs a fresh start in democracy and the rule of law, rather than the authoritarian impasse. Only if we remember stories like Yauhen’s, a democratic fresh start can not be stopped. It is time for solidarity.”