As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Alexandra Louis (Assemblée nationale, Agir), Tabea Rößner (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) and Max Lucks (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Andrei Paheryla, a former employee at the Belarusian state-owned company Grodno Azot, was detained on 17 September 2021 for alleged high treason (Criminal Code Art. 356).
Lawyer and Member of Parliament Alexandra Louis is the first member of the French parliament to adopt a political prisoner as part of the #WeStandBYyou campaign. She is a representative of the Agir party in the Assemblée nationale and a member of the legal commission. She comments on her godparenthood for Andrei Paheryla: “I am very honored to be Andrei Paheryla’s godmother. I am proud and lucky to live in a state of law and I feel duty bound to defend its values. Through this declaration, I want to show my unwavering support to the cause of Mr. Paheryla and to all political prisoners. Mr. Paheryla is accused of high treason for simply taking part in a demonstration and is still awaiting trial. I am opposed to all abusive arrests of Belarusian citizens.”
The designer Dzmitry Kubarau was arrested on 11 August 2020, and sentenced to eight years of imprisonment under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for “organizing riots” and for “illegal acts in relation to objects whose action is based on the use of flammable substances” (Article 295-3).
Tabea Rößner, member of Alliance 90/The Greens in the German Bundestag, has already been the godparent to the former political prisoner Aliaksei Karatkou, who has since been released. She is now taking over the godparenthood of Dzmitry Kubarau from the former parliamentarian Matern von Marschall and states: “In Belarus, people are fighting for democracy, freedom and respect for universal human rights. For years, the Lukashenko regime has been cracking down on them. The number of political prisoners is growing steadily. It takes tremendous courage to go out on the streets and express one’s opinion. One of these courageous people is Dzmitry Kubarau, who has been unjustly imprisoned for more than eight months and whom I will stand by with full solidarity. For this reason, I have accepted political godparenthood for him. I call for his release on behalf of all political prisoners in Belarus and worldwide.”
Ivan Andrushoits was arrested on 5 November 2020, and charged with “participation in riots” (Criminal Code art. 293), “organization of or active participation in actions grossly violating public order” (art. 342), “desecration of buildings and damage to property” (art. 341), “illegal acquisition of computer information” (Art. 352), “destroying, blocking or altering computer data” (Art. 350), and “developing, using, distributing or selling malicious computer programs” (Art. 354), and sentenced to three and a half years of imprisonment.
Max Lucks, also a member of the German Bundestag for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, has already acted as godfather to Ivan Komar, a political prisoner who has since been released, and has now taken on the godparenthood of Ivan Andrushoits. His message is: “I strongly condemn the politically motivated imprisonment of activists in Belarus. Mr. Andrushoits’ actions were covered by the right of assembly and freedom of expression. In a trial governed by the rule of law, he would never have been held in pre-trial detention for so long and would not have been convicted. I reiterate my great solidarity for Belarusian civil society and call for the release of Ivan Andrushoits and all other political prisoners.”