As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Frank Heinrich (CDU), Ivan Štefanec (KDH) and Konstantin Von Notz (Alliance90/The Greens) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Viachaslau Sheliamet is only 19 years old. He was detained on suspicion of participating in mass riots under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Frank Heinrich

Frank Heinrich, Member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, has taken over the godparenthood for Viachaslau Sheliamet and stated: “The peaceful demonstrations after the presidential election, which was neither free nor fair, clearly show that they are not a threat to national and public security. I strongly condemn the numerous repressive measures taken by the political power structures through violence and torture against the peaceful demonstrators in Belarus. I call for the immediate release of Viachaslau Sheliamet – political prisoner – who, as far as I know, exercised his freedom to demonstrate peacefully. Freedom of assembly is a precious fundamental right!”

Hleb Fitsner is a fourth-year student at Minsk State Linguistic University. Hleb was detained on November 12 as part of a criminal case under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Ivan Štefanec

Ivan Štefanec, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Hleb Fitsner. On this occasion he stated: “Only who has fought for his freedom is worthy of it”, said our general Mr Stefanik (1880-1919). He was one of the leading figures forming the first independent state of Czechs and Slovaks. I’m proud to adopt Belarusian student Hleb Fitsner who was imprisoned for his will to live in a free country. I call for freedom for this young and brave student.”

Yan Salanovich is a fourth year student of Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics (BSUIR). On November 1, he was detained in a peaceful rally in Minsk. According to his mother, he was interrogated and intimidated, as a result of which he confessed of having participated in peaceful assemblies in August, September and October 2020. As a result, he was sentenced to 86 days of administrative detention.

Konstantin Von Notz

Konstantin von Notz, Member of the German Bundestag and deputy chairman of the group Alliance 90/The Greens, has taken over the godparenthood for Yan Salanovich and stated: “The Belarusian people have been fighting for democracy in their country for far too long now. We must support them in their efforts. We must not allow them to be silenced by violence, repression and arbitrary arrests. As a democrat and a parliamentarian, I support the protest of the demonstrators in Belarus. Young people like Yan Salanovich, who are peacefully standing up for democracy, freedom and fair new elections with courage and great stamina, must not be criminalised. It is therefore an honour and a special concern for me to take over this godparenthood. The repression against students must come to an end. I call for due process of law and the release of Yan Salanovich and all those unlawfully detained.”