As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Till Steffen (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens), Alexander Burnett (Scottish Parliament, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party) and Swantje Michaelsen (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
David Mastsitski has been imprisoned since 2 September 2020. On 30 April 2021 he was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months imprisonment for “participating in riots” (Criminal Code, Art. 293).
Till Steffen is a member of the German Bundestag and of the Legal Affairs Committee. He has taken over the godparenthood of David Mastsitski from former MP Alexander Krauß and states: “David Mastsitski is imprisoned until October 2025 because he took to the streets for his right to vote and for democracy. His protest now separates him from his family and child. We cannot accept political prisoners. We must unite. I therefore join Alexander Krauß, former member of the German Bundestag and previous godparent, in demanding that David Mastsitski be released immediately.”
Maksim Imkhavik was arrested as a minor on 21 July 2021. On 12 July 2021 he was sentenced to three years imprisonment for “participating in riots” (Criminal Code, Art. 293).
Alexander Burnett is a Member of the Scottish Parliament and of the Economy and Fair Work Committee. He has become the godparent of Maksim Imkhavik and declares: “Maksim’s imprisonment, as well as the hundreds of others who have also been imprisoned in Belarus, is appalling and I am honoured to join the call for his release. Maksim is just a teenager and it is unacceptable that he is being kept in prison.
Along with fellow elected representatives in Scotland and across Europe, I stand against the suppression of taking place and urge the Belarusian Government to respect the human rights of the Belarusian people and release those who have been wrongfully detained.”
Siarhei Satsuk worked as an investigative journalist for the Belarusian online publication “Ejednevnik”. He was arrested for the second time on 8 December 2021 and charged with allegedly “taking a bribe” (Criminal Code, Art. 430).
Swantje Michaelsen is a member of the German Bundestag and has taken on the godparenthood of Siarhei Satsuk. She states: “I support the solidarity campaign WeStandBYyou of the human rights organisation Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights and have personally taken over the godparenthood for Siarhei Satsuk. Satsuk is a journalist and editor-in-chief of a Belarusian online publication. He was arrested on 8 December 2021 and has been in pre-trial detention again since then. Siarhei Satsuk is one of now more than 1,000 political prisoners in Belarus. I stand firmly by his side and call on the Belarusian authorities to release Siarhei Satsuk and all other prisoners immediately!”