MPs from Germany and Switzerland adopt political prisoners Ihar Losik, Valeryia Kastsiuhova and Viachaslau Sheliamet
As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Robin Wagener (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens), Stéfanie Prezioso (Swiss National Council, Ensemble à Gauche) and Sebastian Brehm (German Bundestag, Christian Social Union) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Ihar Losik is a blogger and administrator of the Telegram channel “Belarus Golovnogo Mozga” with almost 200,000 subscribers. He was imprisoned on 25 June 2020 and has been awaiting trial ever since. He went on hunger strike on 15 December 2020.
Robin Wagener has taken over the godparenthood of Ihar Losik from Manuel Sarrazin. Wagener comments his godparenthood as follows: “I stand firmly by the side of the courageous people in Belarus who work tirelessly for democracy and the rule of law in their country and personally pay a very high price for it. They have my deep gratitude, respect and full solidarity. It is therefore a matter close to my heart to take over the godparenthood of Ihar Losik from my retired Bundestag colleague Manuel Sarrazin. I will campaign for his release and that of all political prisoners. Because human rights are universal and no political prisoner should be forgotten.”
Valeryia Kastsiuhova is a political scientist and the founder of the expert community “Nashe Mneniye” (“Our Opinion”). Kastsiuhova was detained without charge on 30 June 2021 and her home was searched by KGB officers.
Stéfanie Prezioso, member of the Swiss National Council, has taken on the godparenthood for Valeryia Kastsiuhova. She declared: “As a member of the Swiss Parliament, I demand the immediate and unconditional release of Valeryia Kastsiuhova and all other political prisoners illegally detained. Freedom of research, of opinion, of the press, of speech are essential universal human rights that must be respected everywhere. I express my full solidarity with all political prisoners and with the Belarusian people who fight for a real democracy. The police violence and arrests of opponents must stop. Belarusians have the right to decide their future by themselves.”
Viachaslau Sheliamet was only 19 years old when he was arrested on 20 August 2020. On 30 April 2021, he was sentenced to 5.5 years imprisonment for “participating in mass riots” (Penal Code, Art. 293).
Sebastian Brehm is the finance and budget policy spokesperson of the Christian Social Union in the German Bundestag and a member of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. He has taken over the godparenthood for Viachaslau Sheliamet from former MP Frank Heinrich and declares: “I demand the immediate release of all political prisoners in Belarus. Within the framework of the #WeStandByYou campaign and the programme “Parliamentarians Protect Parliamentarians”, I personally stand up for several political prisoners. The right to free speech is a fundamental right that applies universally and worldwide. We observe the situation in Belarus with great concern and will do everything to ensure that human rights violations do not go unpunished! The perpetrators must be held legally accountable and punished nationally and internationally.”