German and Swiss MPs adopt political prisoners Ivan Patsiaichuk, Aliaksandr Vasilevich and Valiantsin Tseranevich
As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Nina Stahr (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens), Oliver Kaczmarek (German Bundestag, Social Democratic Party) and Laurence Fehlmann Rielle (Swiss National Coucil, Social Democratic Party) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Ivan Patsiaichuk was born in 2004 and is therefore still a minor. He has been in detention since 12 July 2021. He was sentenced to 3 years in a juvenile detention centre on 12 July 2021 for “participating in riots” (Criminal Code, Article 293).
Nina Stahr is a member of the German Bundestag (Alliance90/The Greens) and of the family committee. When taking on her godparenthood of Patsiaichuk, she stated: “I demand the release of Ivan Patsiaichuk and all political prisoners in Belarus. We must not accept this dictatorship in the middle of Europe, we must not look away. And we must not leave alone those who are fighting for democracy, the rule of law and free and fair elections at the risk of their lives and their personal freedom. Even very young people and even minors like Ivan risk an incredible amount. They are the true heroes of the European here and now. I want to set an example for them. Because it is clear: Lukashenko is a dictator. He is not a legitimate president. That is why my full solidarity goes to the people in the Belarusian democracy movement.”
Aliaksandr Vasilevich is a Belarusian businessman. He was detained on August 28 by representatives of the Financial Investigations Department. Since then, he has been held in pre-trial detention.
Oliver Kaczmarek is a member of the German Bundestag for the Social Democratic Party. He takes over the godparenthood for Vasilevich from former MP René Röspel and declares: “ALIAKSANDR VASILEVICH is one of more than 1,800 people in Belarus who have been innocently imprisoned for months – in the case of Aliaksandr Vasilevich it has been almost one and a half years – because of their peaceful action against electoral fraud, violence and the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. As a sign of solidarity and to support the efforts to secure Aliaksandr Vasilevich’s release, I have taken over the godparenthood from my former colleague René Röspel. I call on those responsible to release Aliaksandr Vasilevich immediately. My other demands are clear: the release of all political prisoners, an immediate end to violence and repression against civil society, organisations and the media, and free and fair new elections.”
Valiantsin Tseranevich is a trade union activist and former assistant foreman at the state company Grodno Azot. He was arrested on 20 September 2021 and charged with “high treason” (Criminal Code, art. 356).
Laurence Fehlmann Rielle is a member of the Swiss National Council and of the Commission for Legal Affairs. She has taken on the godparenthood of Tseranevich and states: “I support the trade unionist Valiantsin Tseranevich, the assistant leader of an independent trade union at Grodno Azot in Belarus. He has been in detention since 20 September 2021. He and several workers who had supported local strikes are under investigation for “high treason”. Being accused of treason for exercising his trade union rights is manifestly unjust and totally disproportionate. Mr. Valiantsin Tseranevich must be released!”