As part of Libereco’s #WeStandBYyou solidarity campaign, Brendan Howlin (Dáil Éireann, Labour Party, Ireland), Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka (Senat, Wiosna, Poland) and Monika Grütters (Deutscher Bundestag, CDU, Deutschland) are becoming godparents of political prisoners in Belarus.
Siarhei Verashchahin was detained on August 12, 2020. During the detention he was severely beaten. He was accused of allegedly shouting at police officers from the window of his apartment, including using obscene lamguage, while the officers were arresting protesters, and throwing bottles at them. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison under Article 364 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (violence against a police officer). Siarhei serves his term in Penal colony No. 13 in Hlubokaje.
Brendan Howlin, member of the Dáil Éireann, has adopted Siarhei Verashchahin, stating, ‘The abuse of Human Rights in Belarus demands all democrats and all of us who serve as elected parliamentarians to take a stand. I pledge to campaign for the release of political prisoners in Belarus and in particular for the release of Siarhei Verashchahin, arrested for allegedly shouting at police officers from his apartment window. Serving five years, he has been severely beaten during detention and has suffered multiple injuries. Siarhei is an individual among many who are unjustly detained in Belarus.’
Andżelika Borys is chairwoman of the Union of Poles in Belarus. She was detained on March 23, 2021 and on March 24, a judge of the Lieninski District Court of Hrodna sentenced her to 15 days of administrative detention for violating the procedure of organizing and holding mass events, namely for arranging the annual festival of arts and crafts “Hrodna Kaziuki 2021”. Later, it was reported that Borys was a suspect in a criminal case under Part 3 of Art. 130 of the Criminal Code of Belarus for “incitement to hatred” and “rehabilitation of Nazism”.
Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka, deputy marshall of the Polish Senate, has adopted Andżelika Borys , stating, “It is an honour for me to adopt Andżelika Borys the president of the Union of Poles in Belarus. I will write to Alexander Lukashenko demanding medical help for her and her immediate release from prison along with all other political prisoners. Freedom for Belarus! Poles are on your side!”
Siarhei Volkau is an actor of the Palessie Drama Theater and a volunteer. He was detained on May 5, 2021, and placed in remand prison No. 6 in Baranavičy. Volkau was charged in the case of mass riots (Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code of Belarus) opened after the events of election night, August 9, 2020, in Pinsk.
Monika Grütters, member of German Bundestag and Minister of State for Culture,has taken over the godparenthood of Siarhei Volkau. On the occasion of her godparenthood, Ms. Grütters states: “I stand with the actor Siarhei Volkau, who was arrested in May 2021 and has been in pre-trial detention ever since. He had taken part in demonstrations in Belarus after the presidential election inAugust 2020 and – like so many of his compatriots – demanded to be able to decide his fate in free elections. I admire the courage of the many demonstrators for freedom, democracy and human rights and call on Aliaksandr Lukashenka to release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally.’