On 21 March 2023, given the background of intensified repression against the opposition in Belarus, the France-Belarus Interparliamentary Friendship Group in the French Senate organized a conference to adopt 25 political prisoners in Belarus.

The Belarusian regime has intensified its repression against the opposition in recent months. Both 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski and former presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya have been sentenced to long prison terms. Charles Guené, Republican Party Senator and Chairman of the France-Belarus Friendship Group, observes that prison conditions and repressive laws in Belarus have since become more severe, and the term terrorism is now used to describe political opponents.

The conference on 21 March therefore aimed to address the ongoing and increased forms of repression in Belarusian society and to send an important signal of support by taking on the godparenthood for 25 political prisoners. Brigitte Devésa, Member of the French Senate and member of the Interparliamentary Friendship Group France-Belarus, has taken on the godparenthood for Adam Sauko and positions herself in solidarity with all persons in Belarus who suffer from the “totalitarism” of the regime:


Senate deputy Joël Guerriau expresses himself in a similar way, and wishes to stand up for freedom of expression and democracy in Belarus through his symbolic godparenthood for political prisoner Viktar Kazlouski:

25 new godparents

As part of Libereco’s #WeStandBYyou solidarity campaign, 25 Members of the French Senate have decided to take on a symbolic godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus, sending a strong message of international solidarity. We would like to express our sincere gratitude for the commitment of the France-Belarus Interparliamentary Friendship Group in the French Senate and announce the godparents as follows:

    • Bruno Belin (Les Républicains) – Iryna Bud-Husaim
    • Éric Bocquet (Parti communiste français) – Artsiom Zharnak
    • Valérie Boyer (Les Républicains) – Uladzislau Barysau
    • Olivier Cadic (Union Centriste) – Arsenii Maiseichyk
    • Édouard Courtial (Les Républicains) – Henadz Fiadynich
    • Michel Dagbert (Rassemblement des démocrates, progressistes et indépendants) – Ivan Datsyshyn
    • Ronan Dantec (Écologiste – Solidarité et Territoires) – Siarhei Kanavalau
    • Brigitte Devésa (Union Centriste) – Adam Sauko
    • Laurent Duplomb (Les Républicains) – Zinaida Mikhniuk
    • Vincent Éblé (Groupe Socialiste, Écologiste et Républicain) – Ihar Lednik
    • Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam (Les Républicains) – Aliaksandr Hashnikau
    • André Gattolin (Rassemblement des démocrates, progressistes et indépendants) – Aliaksandr Mishuk
    • Pascale Gruny (Les Républicains) – Andrei Khanevich
    • Charles Guené (Les Républicains) – Aksana Aliakseyeva
    • Véronique Guillotin (Rassemblement Démocratique et Social Européen) – Antanina Kavaliova (released on 22 April 2023)
    • Joël Guerriau (Les Indépendants – République et Territoires) – Viktar Kazlouski
    • Florence Lassarade (Les Républicains) – Yana Zhurauliova
    • Jean-Yves Leconte (Groupe Socialiste, Écologiste et Républicain) – Ivan Kaniaveha
    • Hervé Maurey (Union Centriste) – Uladzimir Auramtsau
    • Franck Menonville (Les Indépendants – République et Territoires) – Mikhail Laban
    • Marie Mercier (Les Républicains) – Emil Huseinau
    • Évelyne Perrot (Union Centriste) – Natallia Taran
    • Claude Raynal (Groupe Socialiste, Écologiste et Républicain) – Mikita Starazhenka
    • Nadia Sollogoub (Union Centriste) – Aleh Malchanau
    • Mickaël Vallet (Groupe Socialiste, Écologiste et Républicain) – Siarhei Antusevich