Members of the Swiss National Council and the German Bundestag adopt Uladzimir Niaronski, Andrei Pazniak and Aleh Rubets
As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights, Nik Gugger (National Council, EVP), Ottmar von Holtz (Bundestag, Bündnis90 / Die Grünen) and Dirk Wiese (Bundestag, SPD) take over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus and demand their immediate and unconditional release.
Uladzimir Niaronski is a blogger and author of the YouTube channel “Sluck for Life”. He was first arrested on 8 May and detained for several weeks. After taking part in an election campaign event in Grodno on 29 May, he was arrested again and has been in custody since then. He has been charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“organising or preparing actions grossly violating public order”). He is alleged to have insulted the chairman of the Sluck district administration on his YouTube channel and was therefore also charged under Article 369 (“insulting a government official”).
Nik Gugger, Swiss National Councilor, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Uladzimir Niaronski and declared: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Uladzimir Niaronski is fighting for the most valuable good in the world. The fundamental rights of freedom, security, democracy and justice. His dictator, Belarusian President Lukashenka, has kept him in prison for months for this fight. Together with Uladzimir, I stand for resistance against inhuman and degrading treatment. This is why I, as National Councillor of the EVP Switzerland, take over his prisoner’s godparenthood. I hereby demand the immediate release of Uladzimir and all other arbitrarily arrested victims of the Lukashenka regime”.
Andrei Pazniak was a volunteer at Viktar Babaryka’s campaign headquarters. He was arrested under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“participation in mass riots”). During his arrest Andrei Pazniak was severely beaten.
Ottmar von Holtz, spokesman for civil crisis prevention of the Bündnis90 / Die Grünen parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Andrei Pazniak and declared: “Andrei Pazniak is one of many impressive and tireless fighters for a democratic Belarus. His persistence and his courage impressed me very much. I am shocked that an arrest was made at all, but even more terrible are the reports of the serious violence he is suffering in detention. The Lukashenka regime must release him and all other political prisoners, address the atrocities and finally hold democratic elections!
Aleh Rubets was arrested in Pinsk on 10 August. He was severely beaten during his arrest. He is suspected of “participation in mass riots” under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Dirk Wiese, the vice-chairman of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Aleh Rubets. He stated: “I demand freedom for Aleh Rubets. A courageous young man who became a political prisoner for his convictions in Baranavičy. I stand by his side and by the side of the NGO “Mothers 328″, which stands up for the many young prisoners every day.