As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Gregor Gysi (The Left), Gabriela Heinrich (SPD) and Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Yauhen Kakhanouski was detained on August 27. In a forced video confession, he admitted to have participated in riots. Kakhanouski has been charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Gregor Gysi

Gregor Gysi, member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Yauhen Kakhanouski and stated: “Political prisoners like Yauhen Kakhanouski must be released. The time of the power structure of an authoritarian president is over. The longing for democracy and freedom cannot be overcome. All sides of society must then find a common path for their country – perhaps like at the round tables in the GDR.”

On August 9, Yahor Suhoidz and his friends joined a protest against the results of the presidential elections. During the protest, he jumped onto a police van and fell from there while it was driving at full speed. He was also beaten by riot police and then detained on suspicion of taking part in mass riots under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Gabriela Heinrich

Gabriela Heinrich, Member of the German Bundestag and Deputy Member of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, has taken over the godparenthood for Yahor Suhoidz and stated: “Four months ago, the Lukashenka regime rigged the presidential elections in Belarus. Since then, thousands of courageous Belarusians have been protesting peacefully for their basic rights. Rights that should actually be taken for granted. Instead of talking to the demonstrators, Lukashenka reacts with repression and violence. Thousands of opposition activists are still unjustly imprisoned. Among them is Yahor Suhoidz, who is accused of having taken part in mass riots. I express my full solidarity with him and all political prisoners and opposition activists. I call on Alexander Lukashenka to release Yahor Suhoidz and all other political prisoners immediately! Belarus needs a new start – this path does not lead through repression, but through dialogue.”

Aliaksandr Kisialiou was detained and convicted for participating in a peaceful protest on the night of August 11-12. He was not released after the arrest and charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Bettina Stark-Watzinger

Bettina Stark-Watzinger, Member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Aliaksandr Kisialiou. On this occasion Ms Stark-Watzinger stated: “The events in Belarus show that human rights can not be taken for granted, even in Europe. The courage of the peaceful demonstrators who demonstrate on the streets for freedom and democracy is admirable. Even more because they have to reckon with being arrested and put in prison at any moment. One of them is 18-year-old Aliaksandr Kisialiou from Žlobin. We call out to him and to all supporters of the movement: You are not alone – Europe is looking at Belarus. I demand the immediate release of all political prisoners!”