As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Beate Walter-Rosenheimer (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens), Yannick Bury (German Bundestag, Christian Democratic Union) and Jens Teutrine (German Bundestag, Free Democratic Party) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.

Beate Walter-Rosenheimer showing her solidarity with political prisoners.

Volha Klaskouskaya is a journalist and opposition activist. She was detained on October 14, 2020 and was sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment for allegedly “organizing activities that grossly violate public order” (Criminal Code, Art. 342), “hooliganism” (Art. 339) and “insulting a government official” (Art. 369).

Beate Walter-Rosenheimer is a member of the German Bundestag and has taken over the godparenthood of Volha Klaskouskaya. She states: “Volha Klaskouskaya was arrested in Minsk on October 14, 2020 and subsequently sentenced to two and a half years in prison in a show trial. We demand her immediate release! Ms. Klaskouskaya protested against the sham election of the Belarusian dictator Lukashenko. Expressing one’s own opinion, criticizing rulers and protesting for human rights must never be punishable! Democratic values and globally recognized fundamental rights are being trampled under Lukashenko’s autocratic leadership. Protesters and journalists like Ms. Klaskouskaya show great courage when they stand up against the Belarusian power apparatus. We stand with Belarusian activists and demand the release of all political prisoners in Belarus!”

Yannick Bury is now the godparent of Yury Chudzinovich.

Yury Chudzinovich is an entrepreneur and truck driver. He tried to register as a candidate for the 2020 presidential elections, but was refused. Also, he ran a YouTube channel on which he covered the protests of 2020. He was arrested on 15 July 2021 and sentenced to 4 years in jail for “incitement to hatred” (Criminal Code, Art. 130) und “defamation” (Art. 188).

Yannick Bury is a member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) and of the Committee for the Affairs of the European Union. After his first ‚godchild’ Andrei Audzeyeu was released in March 2022, he took over the godparenthood for Chudzinovich and stated: “I am proud to take over the godparenthood for YURY CHUDZINOVICH who was detained in July 2021. More than ever we as politicians have to support political prisoners. Solidarity is the key word and first and foremost we must show our solidarity with everyone who has the courage to fight for freedom, justice and democratic values. With #WeStandBYyou I call on Mr Lukashenka to immediately release Yury Chudzinovich and all political prisoners unconditionally and unharmed.”

Jens Teutrine, godparent of Pavel Vinahradau.

Pavel Vinahradau is a blogger and activist. He was arrested on 22 December 2021. In March 2022, Vinahradau was sentenced to five years in prison for “organizing activities that grossly violate public order” (Criminal Code, Art. 342), “incitement to hatred” (Art. 130), and “defamation of the president” (Art. 367).

Jens Teutrine is a member of the German Bundestag. When taking on the godparenthood of Pavel Vinahradau, he demanded: “The right to freedom of opinion and expression is a universal human right and the basis for democratic and free societies. The dispute of opinions is not a disturbance of coexistence, but part of democracy. 
Coward autocrats, like Lukashenko and Putin, are afraid of critical opinions and independent reporting. They know that their autocratic system is weaker than the urge for freedom and the rule of law. Their inhumane persecution of dissent are an expression of their own weakness. I stand with Pavel Vinahradau and the persecuted journalists, activists and freedom-loving people in Belarus. They deserve our attention for their struggle against the brutal actions of the Lukashenko regime.”