As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Anže Logar (Slovenian National Assembly, Slovenian Democratic Party), Paula Piechotta (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) and Misbah Khan (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Vatslau Areshka is a Belarusian political scientist and public figure, activist of the Belarusian Radio-Electrical Manufacturing Workers’ Trade Union (REM). He was detained on 19 April 2022 and has not been charged yet.
Anže Logar has taken on the godparenthood for Areshka and states: “His detention is a part of large-scale attack on the independent trade union movement in Belarus. Mr Areshka and several of his trade union activist colleagues have been arbitrarily detained, after Belaurs authorities labelled the REM as an extremist group, prohibited its activity and closed it down by a decision of a Belarus court. The detention of the trade union activists and prohibition of the REM is clearly politically motivated and runs against the rights to free expression, peaceful assembly and association, as well as rights of workers to organize themselves in free and independent trade unions. I wish to express my solidarity with Mr Areshka and I call on Belarus authorities for immediate release of him and his colleagues, and for the respect of rights to free expression, assembly and association. These and other human and civil rights are non-negotiable. Political repression in Belarus must stop.”
Tatiana Kouzina is a board member and co-founder of the Sympa School of Young Public Administration Managers. She has been in custody since 28 June 2021.
Paula Piechotta is a member of the German Bundestag and the new godparent of Tatiana Kouzina. On the occasion of taking on her godparenthood, she stated: “Taccjana Kuzina, founder of the School of Young Managers in Public Administration, who was arrested on 28 June 2021 at the airport on her way to Tbilisi, has now been in detention for over a year. I have taken on a political godparenthood for her. The people in Belarus, like those in Ukraine, want freedom and peace. Many people in East Germany also demonstrated for this in the streets in 1989. We support them in this and demand the release of all political prisoners and new democratic elections.”
Aleh Barazna is an activist with the group “Country for Life” and for Sviatlana Tsikhanovskaya’s team. He has been detained several times and has now been held as a political prisoner since 13 April 2021 for alleged “illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs without the purpose of sale” (Art. 328).
Misbah Khan is a member of the German Bundestag and has taken on the godparenthood of Aleh Barazna. She states: “Aleh Barazna has already been sitting in a Belarusian prison for more than a year because he, together with others, has been campaigning for democracy and freedom in his country. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression, as well as the right to a fair trial and equal elections are human rights. They must be respected and defended under all circumstances. Therefore, as a member of the Bundestag, I demand the immediate release of Aleh Barazna and all other political prisoners in Belarus. #WeStandBYyou”