In the course of our solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Sigurd Agersnap, Astrid Carøe and Jacob Mark, all members for The Left Green in the Danish Parliament, have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Yury Kavaliou was originally sentenced to one year in a penal colony for allegedly insulting Aliaksandr Lukashenka (Criminal Code, Art. 368) during a doctor appointment. Three days before his release, on 28 June 2022, he was convicted under Art. 411 (“malicious disobedience to the demands of the administration of the penitentiary”). Again, Kavaliou served his sentence in full and was released on 1 July 2022. Currently he is facing coercive mental treatment in the Republican Scientific and Practical Center of Mental Health in Minsk by a new court order.
Sigurd Agersnap, member of the Danish Parliament for The Green Left has taken on the godparenthood for Yury Kavaliou and emphasizes: “I demand the immediate and unconditional release of Yury Kavaliou […]. Courageous people in Belarus show us every day what it means to stand up for freedom, democracy and human rights. In doing so, they risk their freedom, ill-treatment, violence and draconian prison sentences […]. Expressing one’s opinion in public must never lead to prosecution and mental treatment.”
Siarhei Ratkevich was arrested on 30 August 2020 during a weekly Sunday protest in Minsk for being involved in a clash with police officers who tried to detain him. He was charged under Art. 364 (“violence or threat of violence against a police officer”) and is serving a 5 year sentence in a penal colony.
Astrid Carøe is a member of the Danish Parliament for The Green Left and has assumed the godparenthood for Siarhei Ratkevich. She declares: “Supporting Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights with a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus is important for me. […] I admire all those courageous people who, despite great personal risks, stand up for freedom and human rights. The regime must immediately release all unjustly imprisoned demonstrators and stop all politically motivated prosecution. The free world must continue to support the democratic aspirations in Belarus.”
Aleh Khramykh, a taxi driver and Red Cross volunteer, was detained on 5 April 2022 for supposedly promoting extremist activities under Art. 361-4. He was sentenced to 3 ½ years in a medium-security penal colony for posting messages on the internet about the time and location of a Russian plane and other vehicles moving around Homieĺ.
Jacob Mark, Member of the Danish Parliament for The Green Left, has taken on the godparenthood for Aleh Khramykh and states his concerns: “An overwhelming majority of the Belarusian population is against their country’s participation in the war in Ukraine. These acts of desperation are an expression of the political helplessness of the population in the face of Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s authoritarian state and support of Russia’s illegal war against Ukrania. I support and demand the immediate and unconditional release of Aleh Khramykh.”