As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Tobias B. Bacherle (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens), Kati Piri (Netherlands, Tweede Kamer, Partij van de Arbeid) and Axel Echeverria (German Bundestag, Social Democratic party) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Aliaksandr Nurdzinau is an artist from Minsk. He has been in detention since 26 October 2020. On 5 February 2021, he was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for the alleged “participation in riots” (Criminal Code, Art. 293) and the “organization and preparation of actions that grossly violate public order” (Art. 342).
Tobias B. Bacherle, member of the German Bundestag and the Committee on Foreign Affairs, has taken on the godparenthood for Nurdzinau and explains: “The artist Aliaksandr Nurdzinau has opposed the arbitrariness, the human rights violations, the brutality of the Lukashenka regime and joined the peaceful protests for a democratic Belarus. For this he now has to serve four years in prison. With this symbolic godparenthood, I would like to express my deepest solidarity and admiration for Aliaksandr Nurdzinau’s civil courage, which is representative of so many courageous Belarusians. At the greatest risk to themselves, family and friends, they keep alive the demand for democracy and human rights and for a Belarus in freedom. We will not forget you, #WeStandByYou.”
Dzmitry Kulakouski is a former police officer. He resigned after the 2020 elections because he disagreed with the violent approach of the authorities. According to his lawyers, he was ill-treated and tortured after his arrest on 4 December 2020. On 22 January 2021, he was sentenced to two years of imprisonment.
Kati Piri is a member of the Dutch Parliament (Tweede Kamer) for the Labour Party (Partij van de Arbeid). She is on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and the Committee on European Affairs. Piri has become the godparent of Dzmitry Kulakouski and states: “Today I ‘adopt’ Dzmitry Kulakouski. He was sentenced to two years in prison, because he stood up against dictator Lukashenko. Let’s keep on taking action for the brave people in Belarus who continue to struggle every day for their freedom.”
Raman Hvazdziolka was arrested on 20 October 2020. On 12 August 2021, he was sentenced to four years imprisonment for “participating in riots” (Criminal Code, Art. 293).
Axel Echeverria is a member of the German Bundestag. He took over the godparenthoof of Hvazdziolka from retiring MP Ralf Kapschack and stated: “For more than a year, Raman Hvazdziolka has been in prison in Belarus for protesting against the highly disputed election result of the last presidential election – like thousands of his compatriots. As part of the #WeStandBYyou campaign, I have taken on the godparenthood of Mr Hvazdziolka. It is intolerable that in our immediate European neighbourhood, states of injustice like Lukashenko’s are trampling human rights underfoot.”