As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Aydan Özoguz (German Bundestag), Sergey Lagodinsky (European Parliament) and Claudia Müller (German Bundestag) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.

Aydan Özoğuz

Tatsiana Kaneuskaya is a local representative of the presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in the city of Gomel. She was arrested after her house was searched the evening before and the morning of 7 August. She was charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code with “organising riots”.

Aydan Özoğuz, a member of the German Bundestag’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, has taken over the godparenthood for Tatsiana Kaneuskaya. She stated: “The right to freedom of assembly is a fundamental right that must be guaranteed. Tatsiana Kaneuskaya and many others arrested after peaceful protests in Belarus are also free to exercise this right. I therefore call for the recognition of the right to freedom of assembly and for the release of Tatsiana Kaneuskaya. #WeStandBYyou”

Sergey Lagodinsky

Maksim Znak is a lawyer and member of the presidium of the Coordination Council of the Belarusian opposition. He was arrested on 9 September and charged under Article 361 of the Belarusian Criminal Code with “incitement to acts harmful to the national security of the Republic of Belarus”.

Sergey Lagodinsky, First Deputy Chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, adopted Maxim Znak as a political prisoner and declared: “Maxim Znak, citizen and lawyer-colleague, I stand by you. Following Mr Znak’s kidnapping and disappearance on 9 September, I ask President Lukashenka and the authorities in Belarus to set Maxim Znak free without delay. All captured members of the coordination council like Maxim and many other baselessly imprisoned citizens in Belarus must be released immediately. Securing human and civil rights, free elections and full democracy are key demands of the peaceful opposition of Belarus.These demands have my full support.”

Akihiro Hayeuski-Hanada is an activist of an anarchist movement and was arrested on 13 August during a peaceful protest. He was charged with “organising riots” under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code. His associate, Aliaksandr Frantskevich, reported that Hayeuski-Hanada was severely beaten by the KGB before his very eyes.

Claudia Müller

Claudia Müller, member of the Bundestag Committee on European Union Affairs, has taken over the godparenthood for Akihiro Hayeuski-Hanada. She stated: “Freedom for Akihiro Hayeuski-Hanada! I call on the ruling regime of Belarus to release political prisoner Akihiro Hayeuski-Hanada immediately. Akihiro was arrested by the Belarusian security apparatus during a demonstration a few days after the rigged presidential election on 13 August. He has thus been in detention for one month. According to reports from another prisoner, Akihiro was mistreated by KGB staff in custody. His crime? At a demonstration to denounce the electoral fraud, which was clearly visible to the whole world. In recent weeks, Lukashenka has proven once again that he has lost all democratic legitimacy and can only hold on to power by force against his own people. Mr Lukashenka, release all political prisoners and resign!”