As part of our #WeStandBYyou soldiarity campaign, Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (German Bundestag, FDP) has taken on the godparenthood of Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski. You can also find out how you can campaign for Ales’ release.

Ales Bialiatski

Ales Bialiatski is the chairman and co-founder of the Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna. Ales has been defending the human rights of political prisoners for over three decades and has become a major critic of the Belarusian regime. His unwavering commitment to democracy and human rights has often made him the target of repressive measures by the Belarusian state. In 2011, Ales was sentenced to three years in prison on fabricated charges of tax evasion.
After the brutal crackdown on protests against the rigged 2020 presidential elections, Ales and the human rights organisation continued to stand up for demonstrators. The state’s repression eventually affected Ales Bialiatski and several of his Viasna colleagues, who were arrested on 14 July 2021. Ales was charged with, among other things, “financing group activities that grossly violate public order” (Article 342.2) and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. The human rights violations against Ales continue in prison. There has been no news of him for over a year.
Ales Bialiatski has received numerous awards for his tireless work, including the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann

Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann is a member of the German Bundestag for the FDP and a member of the Defence Committee. She is taking over the godparenthood for Ales from Nicola Beer, her party colleague and former Vice-President of the European Parliament. Strack-Zimmermann comments on her godparenthood for Ales Bialiatski: “Since the mid-1980s, Ales Bialiatski has been campaigning for democracy and human rights in his home country of Belarus. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022 for his outstanding commitment to civil society. He has also been imprisoned again because he has become too dangerous for the Belarusian authorities. There is nothing that autocrats fear more than someone who stands up for democracy and a self-determined life in freedom. As a democrat and, above all, as a liberal, I am particularly concerned about protecting the rights and freedoms of every individual. That is why I am happy to take on the godparenthood for Ales Bialiatski today and call not only for his release from Belarusian captivity, but also for the release of his fellow activists. Ales Bialiatski, I stand by you!”

How you can take action for Ales Bialiatski’s freedom.

In an online petition, we demand the unconditional release of Ales and all other political prisoners in Belarus. In doing so, we remind the diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Belarus of their country’s international obligations and call on the Belarusian authorities to grant the fundamental human rights of freedom of expression, assembly and association to all people in Belarus without restriction. Your signature will help us to keep up the pressure on the Belarusian regime.

Please also share our petition on social media by using the text below and downloading the associated graphic.

Ales Bialiatski always fought for the freedom of others, and he lost his own freedom as a result. It’s a disgrace that Belarus’ only Nobel Peace Prize winner is languishing behind bars. Sign the petition from @LiberecoPHR for his release & the release of all political prisoners in Belarus on 

#FreeAles #WeStandBYyou

Download Graphic