As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Hildegard Bentele (European Parliament, CDU), Monika Hohlmeier (European Parliament, CSU/CDU) and Mathias Stein (Bundestag, SPD) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Yan Falkin was detained on September 30. His apartment was searched, during which a laptop, a mobile phone and a walkie-talkie were confiscated. Yan was charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“participation in mass riots”).

Hildegard Bentele

Hildegard Bentele, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Yan Falkin and stated: “I am very concerned about the ongoing oppression of Belarussians who ask for their legitimate right to decide about their destiny in free and democratic elections. I demand the end of violence exercised by the illegitimate regime of M. Lukashenka and the immediate release of political prisoners like Yan Falkin who was arrested on 30 september 2020 and is charged under Part 2 of Article 293 of the Criminal Code (participation in riots).”

Iryna Shchasnaya was detained on June 29 and charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“participation in mass riots”).

Monika Hohlmeier

Monika Hohlmeier, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Iryna Shchasnaya and stated: “In the peaceful struggle for democracy, thousands of brave women and men in Belarus are resolutely defying the brutal regime of dictator Lukashenka. Iryna Shchasnaya is one of these fearless and brave fighters. She has my deepest respect for her courage as a young mother to stand up for the freedom of demonstration and for the future of her country as a caretaker of various Telegram channels despite all the dangers. After a politically motivated and unlawful search, Iryna Shchasnaya was subjected to arbitrary charges and arrested in November in front of her son. As Iryna Shchasnaya’s godparent, I demand her immediate and unconditional release. Violence against peaceful protesters, the suppression of freedom of expression and assembly and the imprisonment of innocent citizens in Belarus must end immediately.”

Tsimur Ryzapur was detained on September 30 and accused of participating in mass riots on August 10 in Brest. The 37-year-old taxi driver was returning home from work on the evening of August 10, when he was shot with rubber bullets five times. Tsimur is held in pre-trial detention. The investigator explains his choice of pre-trial detention by the fact that Tsimur Ryzapur does not have a Belarusian citizenship, despite the fact that he has a residence permit and has been living in Belarus for about 23 years.

Mathias Stein

Mathias Stein, member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Tsimur Ryzapur. On this occasion Mr Stein stated: “Respect for human rights, free elections and the rule of law are the cornerstones of democracy. We stand firmly and in solidarity with the people of Belarus and demand the release of all protesters and activists who have been illegally detained and held as prisoners. Tsimur Ryzapur, whose godparenthood I have taken over, has also been held in pre-trial detention since 30 September 2020 for allegedly taking part in an unauthorised rally. The injustice, violence and oppression of the Belarusian people must end. Tsimur must be released!”