As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Jim O’Callaghan, (Irish Lower House, Fianna Fáil, Ireland), Barry Andrews (European Parliament, Fianna Fáil, Ireland) and Franziska Ryser (National Council, The Greens, Switzerland) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Artsiom Sarokin works as a doctor at the Minsk Emergency Care Hospital. He was arrested on November 19. Artsiom Sarokin was charged together with reporter Katsiaryna Barysevich under Article 178 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for disclosing a medical secret, which allegedly led to serious consequences in connection with the publication of medical documents concerning the death of Raman Bandarenka.

Jim O’Callaghan

Jim O’Callaghan T.D, member of Dáil Éireann, has taken over the godparenthood for Artsiom Sarokin and stated: “I support Dr Artsiom Sarokin who was recently imprisoned by the regime in Belarus. Dr Sarokin is an intensive care doctor at Minsk Emergency Care Hospital. He is in jail because he told a journalist, who was also jailed, about the cause of death of Raman Bandarenka, an art teacher, who was severely beaten while in police custody and subsequently died in hospital on 12 November 2020. The false claim that Raman died due to injuries sustained when he fell while drunk was undermined by Dr Sarokin.”

Siarhei Kryuchenia was detained on 18 August and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. Siarhei has two minor children.

Barry Andrews


Barry Andrews, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Siarhei Kryuchenia and stated: “I am supporting the #WeStandBYyou campaign. I condemn the continuing violations of human rights in Belarus, the repression of peaceful protesters, and in solidarity am sponsoring Siarhei Kryuchenia,a political prisoner. Although I very much welcome the award by the European Parliament of the Sakharov Prize to the Democratic Opposition in Belarus this year, the award highlights that the continuing violations of human rights in Belarus require further reactions from the European Parliament. The measures taken so far by the EU and the EU Member States against the Lukashenka regime are insufficient. We need to do more! #Belarus #WeStandBYyou”

Artsiom Mitsuk was detained on 9 October 2020 and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. 20-year old Artsiom is held in pre-trial detention.

Franziska Ryser


Franziska Ryser, member of the Swiss National Council, has taken over the godparenthood for Artsiom Mitsuk. On this occasion Ms Ryser stated: “I support the people in Belarus who are working for a just democracy based on the principles of the rule of law and for free and fair elections. The repressive means against peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable. Artsiom Mitsuk took part in peaceful protests after the August elections, which posed no threat to national or public security. He, like many others, exercised his right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression. The twenty-year-old was arrested for his participation and is still in pre-trial detention. I demand the immediate release of Artsiom Mitsuk.”