German MP takes on prisoner’s godparenthood for Anton Surapin
Bijan Djir-Sarai, Member of the German Bundestag and of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, has taken on a prisoner’s godparenthood for Anton Surapin and states:
„The arrest of student Anton Surapin is a distressing evidence of the inhumanity of the dictatorial Lukaschenka-regime. All he did was uploading photographs of a campaign calling for freedom of expression in the internet. Now, Surapin gets treated with particular harshness by the Belarussian regime. He is held captive for more than 10 days without being charged or released. That is even a violation of Belarussian law! I demand Anton Surapin’s immediate release. Through my godparenthood I will put pressure on his release by contacting the Belarussian ambassador in Germany and supporting Surapin’s family. Freedom of expression is an universal human right and not negotiable.”
The Prisoner’s Godparenthood campaign for political prisoners in Belarus was initiated by the human rights organisation Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights to support the prisoners and their families.
Student Anton Surapin is facing a seven-year jail sentence for posting online photographs of teddy bears carrying placards in support of freedom of expression. He was arrested on 13 July 2012 and has been charged with “organizing illegal migration”. This charge arises from an incident some days earlier when two members of a Swedish advertising company, Studio Total, flew into Belarus from Lithuania in violation of Belarusian law, in a single-engined aircraft. They flew low over the town of Ivyanets, between Minsk and the Lithuanian border, and dropped about 800 teddy bears on parachutes carrying placards calling for freedom of expression in Belarus.
Belarusian and international human rights organisations regard Anton Surapin as a prisoner of conscience and are calling for his immediate and unconditional release.