As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Barry Ward (Irish Upper House, Fine Gael), Sabine Verheyen (European Parliament, CDU) and Daniela Kluckert (Bundestag, FDP)  have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Maksim Pauliushchyk was detained for painting the phrase “We Will Not Forget” on a pavement near the memorial to Aliaksandr Taraikouski, who was killled during the post-election protests. Maksim is charged under Article 339 (“hooliganism) and Article 218 (”damage to property”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Barry Ward

Senator Barry Ward, member of the Seanad Éireann, has taken over the godparenthood for Maksim Pauliushchyk and stated: “I am standing by Belarus and calling for the release of Maksim Pauliushchyk, who has been imprisoned for painting “We will not forget” on the footpath near where Aliaksandr Taraikouski, a peaceful protester, was shot dead by Belarus police.“

Ruslan Parfionau is a member of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s nomination group. He was detained on 19 August and charged under Article 293 (“participation in riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Sabine Verheyen

Sabine Verheyen, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Ruslan Parfionau and stated: “My thoughts are with Ruslan Parfionau who was unlawfully arrested in August. He has been a viable member of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s election campaign team. From the beginning, he was in the front line in the fight for democracy. Although he knew about the danger he was putting himself in, he stood up for his beliefs of what is right.”

Illia Palaniankin was detained in Hrodna for taking part in a peaceful protest on September 6. He is a suspect under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Daniela Kluckert

Daniela Kluckert, member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Illia Palaniankin. On this occasion Ms Kluckert stated: “What we have experienced and continue to experience in Belarus shocks me. Such obvious electoral fraud, the repression of their own people and the violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators – all this is unacceptable. The fact that Belarusian citizens are not intimidated despite all the threats and violent attacks shows how great the will of the people is to bring about an end to this authoritarian leadership. I pay my respect to each and every one of them for the courage it takes to speak out or demonstrate on the streets despite all these dangers. Illia Palaniankin did just that: he demonstrated peacefully against an oppressive regime and was arrested for it. He has been illegally imprisoned for more than four months now. This must end! I demand not only his immediate release, but the release of every peaceful demonstrator.”