Members of German Bundestag take over godparenthood for Marfa Rabkova, Raman Bahnavets and Stanislau Mikhailau
As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Agnieszka Brugger (Alliance 90/The Greens), Klaus-Dieter Gröhler (CDU) and Alexander Müller (FDP) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Marfa Rabkova is a human rights activist and coordinator of the volunteer staff of the Belarusian Human Rights Centre Viasna. She was arrested together with her husband Vadzim Zharomski on the evening of 17 September. Her home was searched and money and personal belongings were confiscated. She was informed that she had been arrested as part of criminal proceedings under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“training or other preparation of persons to participate in riots or to finance such activities”).
Agnieszka Brugger, deputy leader of the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, said on the occasion of taking over her prisoner’s godparenthood of Marfa Rabkova: “I have enormous respect for the courage and determination of the hundreds of thousands of people in Belarus who have been taking to the streets for months to fight for their freedom. NGOs such as Viasna and women like Marfa Rabkova play a crucial role in organising this peaceful resistance against Lukashenka. I call for their immediate release and the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Belarus”.
Raman Bahnavets 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.
Klaus-Dieter Gröhler, Member of the Bundestag for the CDU, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Raman Bahnavets and declared: “I want to let all demonstrators and prisoners in Belarus know: You are not alone! You have our full support in the fight against the regime of ruler Alexander Lukashenka. It is illegal to use force against the peaceful demonstrators and the opposition in the country and to imprison them. We stand with you against electoral fraud, oppression and violence. For freedom, democracy and the rule of law! Human rights must be respected and enforced in this European country too. I hereby urge the authorities in Belarus to release Raman Bahnavets and all political prisoners and to put an end to the inhumane conditions in Belarus.”
Stanislau Mikhailau was also arrested in Pinsk and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Alexander Müller, member of the Bundestag for the FDP, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Stanislau Mikhailau. He stated: “I am taking over the godparenthood for Stanislau Mikhailau, who was imprisoned because he demonstrated for civil rights. The call for freedom in Belarus is loud and can no longer be suppressed. I admire all those courageous people who, despite great personal risks, stand up for freedom and human rights. The regime must immediately release all unjustly imprisoned demonstrators and allow fair and free elections.”