German MPs join godparenthood campaign to support political prisoners in Belarus
As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Katja Keul (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens), Yannick Bury (German Bundestag, Christian Democratic Union) and Sara Nanni (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Tatsiana Astrouskaya is a volunteer for the foundation “A Country to Live In”, which supports the democracy movement and the families of political prisoners. On 9 July 2021, she was arrested for allegedly “financing the activities of an extremist group” (Criminal Code, Art. 361-2).
Katja Keul, Member of the German Bundestag, comments her godparenthood of Tatsiana Astrouskaya: “Many courageous people have been fighting for freedom and democracy in Belarus since last summer, but the Lukashenko regime is still systematically suppressing the movement. Many opposition members, independent journalists and activists are unjustly imprisoned, but we have not forgotten them and their efforts! Therefore, in partnership with Libereco, I become the godparent of Tatsiana Astrouskaya. I demand the immediate and unconditional release of Tatsiana and all other political prisoners in Belarus!”
Andrei Audzeyeu is a manager at the independent news portal TUT.BY, against which a case was opened on 18 May 2021 for serious tax evasion (Criminal Code, Art. 243). Audzeyeu was arrested as a suspect on 18 May.
Yannick Bury is member of the German Bundestag. He states: “By taking on the godparenthood of Andrei Audzeyeu, I call for his release and the release of all unjustly imprisoned people in Belarus. I express my respect to Andrei Audzeyeu for his courage and commitment in the fight for freedom of expression and democratisation of his country. With #WeStandBYyou, I declare my solidarity as a parliamentarian with the politically persecuted and strongly condemn the disregard for human rights in Belarus.”
Ruslan Linnik is a well-known Youtube vlogger. He was arrested on 20 February 2021. On 17 September 2021, he was sentenced to four years in prison for allegedly “insulting a government official” (Criminal Code, Art. 369), “insulting the President” (Criminal Code, Art. 368), “defamation” (Criminal Code, Art. 188) and ” Slander against the President” (Criminal Code, Art. 367).
Sara Nanni is a member of the Bundestag for Alliance 90/The Greens. She states: “Courageous people in Belarus show us every day what it means to stand up for freedom, democracy and human rights. In doing so, they risk their freedom, ill-treatment, violence and draconian prison sentences. One of them is Ruslan Linnik, a vlogger who has been imprisoned since the beginning of 2021. I am taking over the godparenthood for Ruslan Linnik, standing in solidarity with all those whose critical voices are to be silenced. I call on the Belarusian authorities to release Ruslan Linnik and all other political prisoners immediately! Belarus must stop the massive human rights violations and immediately prepare for and hold democratic, free and fair elections.”