As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Kevin Kühnert (German Bundestag, Social Democratic Party), Nyke Slawik (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) and Anja Liebert (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Tatsiana Lasitsa is an activist with the human rights organisation Viasna. Lasitsa was detained on 21 January 2021 by officers of the Interior Ministry. On 3 November 2021, she was sentenced to 2.5 years imprisonment for the “organization of actions that grossly violate public order” (Criminal Code, Art. 342).
Kevin Kühnert is a member of the German Bundestag and General Secretary of the Social Democratic Party. Kühnert took over the godparenthood of Lasitsa from former MP Gisela Manderla and states: “The activist Tatsiana Lasitsa has been unjustly imprisoned in a penal colony since 21 January 2021 for observing demonstrations and documenting human rights violations for the Viasna Human Rights Centre. Because of her advocacy for human rights, she was convicted under §342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for allegedly disturbing public order. This accusation is grotesque, because only in a dictatorship do basic democratic rights disrupt so-called order. The conviction is a farce and once again exposes the oppressive character of the Belarusian regime. Tatsiana Lasitsa and all political prisoners in Belarus must be released immediately. The regime’s unlawful and violent actions against citizens who stand for nothing more than the bare minimum of democratic coexistence must be stopped. The democratic civil society in Belarus should know: No prisoner is forgotten. The responsible perpetrators should be aware that we are closely monitoring the repression in Belarus at all times and that human rights will prevail one day.”
Alena Lazarchyk is an activist of the opposition group “European Belarus”. She was arrested on 30 December 2021 and charged with “organization of actions that grossly violate public order” (Criminal Code, Art. 342).
Nyke Slawik, Member of the German Bundestag, has taken on the godparenthood of Alena Lazarchyk and declares: “My utmost respect goes to all those who are working for a democratic new beginning in Belarus. Like many other MPs, I follow closely how those are treated who peacefully stand up for a different politics. I have now taken on the godparenthood of Alena Lazarchyk and will follow her case with particular attention and press for her release. A better future is possible – people like Alena make me believe in it!”
Pavel Piaskou was arrested on 18 September 2020. On 29 September 2020, he was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months imprisonment for “resisting a police officer” (Criminal Code, Art. 363).
Anja Liebert is a member of the German Bundestag. She has taken over the godparenthood of Pavel Piaskou from former MP Ursula Groden-Kranich and explains: “I am happy to take over the godparenthood of Pavel Piaskou for former MP Ursula Groden-Kranich. Pavel was accused of violently resisting the police during his arrest at a peaceful demonstration in September 2020. For this he was sentenced to 3 years and 3 months in prison. THE SITUATION IN BELARUS HAS CONTINUED TO DECREASE: In the past week, the number of political prisoners there has exceeded the catastrophic mark of 1,000 detainees. And in many other places around the world, political prisoners need our solidarity, they deserve our attention. Services such as legal aid, faster visas, support for those affected in exile and for arrested journalists urgently need to be expanded. THAT IS WHAT I WILL WORK FOR.”