Polish and German MPs take on godparenthood for political prisoners
As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, the two deputies for the social democratic party Lewica Razem in the Polish Sejm Daria Gosek-Popiołek and Paulina Matysiak as well as Helge Limburg, member of the German Bundestag (Alliance 90/The Greens), have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Danila Hancharou was detained on 15 March 2021 and sentenced to two years of imprisonment for the “organization of or active participation in actions that grossly violate public order” (Art. 342 of the Criminal Code).
Daria Gosek-Popiołek has taken on the godparenthood for Danila Hancharou. She says:
“Danila Hancharou was detained in March 2021 in an act that must clearly be understood as the persecution of political opponents by Lukashenko’s regime. Before his imprisonment, Danila Hancharou used to work as a lighting designer at a theatre, from which he was fired for striking. As a former employee in this sector, I can assure you that cultural workers’ place is not in prisons. I stand with Danila Hancharou and demand his immediate release. Freedom of speech and the right to protest are essential freedoms which cannot be denied.”
A former employee of the state-owned national telecommunications company Beltelecom, Artsiom Parkhamovich was detained on 22 October 2020 and sentenced to eleven years of imprisonment for leaking information about law enforcement officers to a Telegram channel. The many charges against him included “violence or threat against an official performing official duties” (Art. 366 of the Criminal Code), “incitement to hatred” (Art. 130) and “illegal actions with respect to information about private life and personal data” (Art. 203), among other things.
Paulina Matysiak comments on her godparenthood for Artsiom Parkhamovich as follows:
“I express my full solidarity with Artsiom Parkhamovich and other political prisoners in Belarus. Sentencing him to eleven years in prison is a clear violation of human and civil rights. The long list of charges brought against him is politically motivated and serves to protect those who are complicit in the regime’s crimes. No one should be punished for defending democracy. My thoughts are with Artsiom Parkhamovich, his close ones and all Belarusians who oppose the dictatorship.”
Andrei Paheryla, a former employee at the Belarusian state-owned company Grodno Azot, has been detained since 17 September 2021 for alleged ‘high treason’ (Criminal Code Art. 356).
On the occasion of his taking over the godparenthood for Andrei Paheryla, Helge Limburg, Member of the German Bundestag and legal policy spokesman for the Alliance 90/The Greens parliamentary group, explains:
“Andrei Paheryla is one of many Belarusians who took to the streets for freedom, the rule of law and democracy. The Belarusian regime therefore persecutes people like him with violence and arbitrary imprisonment. I am honoured to be able to be Andrei Paheryla’s godparent and assure him of my full solidarity. I admire his commitment and courage in fighting for the freedom of his country and his fellow citizens. I demand the immediate release of Andrei Paheryla and of all political prisoners!”