As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Jürgen Hardt (Bundestag, Germany), Lukas Mandl (European Parliament, Austria) und Reinhold Lopatka (National Council, Austria) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. They demand their immediate and unconditional release.
Ihnat Sidorchyk is a young director who was arrested during the protests against the rigged presidential elections in Belarus. He has been charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“Organisation of Mass Riots”).
Jürgen Hardt, foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Ihnat Sidorchyk. He declared: “For weeks, people in Belarus have been demonstrating for freedom, justice and democracy. In order to motivate young people in Belarus to continue to hold fast to their vision of a free Belarus under the rule of law, I have taken over a godparenthood for the imprisoned director Ihnat Sidorchyk in cooperation with the NGO Libereco. I express my solidarity with the peaceful demonstrators and condemn in the strongest terms the cruel repression by President Lukashenka. I therefore call on Mr Lukashenka to immediately release all political prisoners unconditionally and unharmed and to hold free and fair elections. #WeStandBYyou.”
Dzianis Kireshchanka was arrested on 8 August on charges of “inciting riots” and was also charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“Organisation of Mass Riots”).
Lukas Mandl, ÖVP Member of the European Parliament and member of the Committee on Justice and Internal Affairs there, stated on the occasion of taking over his prisoner’s godparenthood: “Dzianis Kireshchanka was arrested because he exercised his right to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression. There should be no such thing in 21st century Europe. The brutal behaviour of the regime in Belarus is and remains unacceptable. The people of Belarus need to know that we stand by their side and support them in their quest for freedom, democracy and the rule of law. It is with conviction that I take over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Dzianis Kireshchanka and demand his immediate release as well as the release of all other political prisoners”.
Dzianis Chykaliou was also arrested in Minsk on 10 August on suspicion of taking part in mass riots and, like the other two political prisoners, was charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.
Reinhold Lopatka, ÖVP National Councillor and Austrian Head of Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Dzianis Chykaliou. He declared: “Respect and freedom for Dzianis Chykaliou and all the people of Belarus! The huge democratic movement has to be supported. The release of all political prisoners and a free and fair re-run of the election have to take place as soon as possible.”