In the run-up to International Human Rights Day and the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize on 10 December, 131 MPs from 21 countries are addressing the ruling regime in Belarus. In an open letter they demand the release of all political prisoners.

The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna, Ales Bialiatski, is facing more than 12 years in prison. The 60-year-old has been innocently imprisoned for more than 500 days. Bialiatski is one of more than 1440 political prisoners in Belarus who are unlawfully imprisoned for political reasons.

On the initiative of the German-Swiss human rights organisation Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights, 131 parliamentarians from all over Europe are now demanding the release of Bialiatski and all other political prisoners. The letter is being sent to Alexander Lukashenko, Andrei Shved (Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus), Ivan Kubrakov, (Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus) and Oleg Matkin (Head of the Department for the Execution of Punishments).

100,000 signatures collected – to be given to the embassy

By the time the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded this Saturday, Libereco, together with the NGOs Campact and Campax in Germany and Switzerland, has already collected more than 100,000 signatures for the release of Ales Bialiatski, the also imprisoned opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova and all other political prisoners. The collected signatures will be handed over at a rally on Friday, 9 December, at 9:30 a.m. at the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in Berlin. This is a reminder of those who stand up for their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association in Belarus and are therefore innocently in prison.

“The Open Letter from MPs from more than 20 countries shows impressively that we do not forget the political prisoners in Belarus. But now it is also up to the European governments. The imprisonment of the Nobel Peace Prize winner and more than 1400 other political prisoners must no longer be tolerated. The sanctions and punitive measures against the Belarusian regime must be tightened. The EU and Switzerland must finally exclude Belarus from the SWIFT payment system and from the qualification for the European Football Championship 2024, expel the Belarusian ambassadors and ban the red-green Lukashenko flag,” demands Lars Bünger, President of Libereco in Switzerland.

If you as a Member of Parliament would also like to sign the letter, please write to us at

Text of the open letter: 

Open Letter to Alexander Lukashenko and Regime Leadership

We, parliamentarians from across Europe and representatives of our people from many countries, call for the release of Ales Bialiatski and all political prisoners in Belarus.

In October this year the globally respected Nobel Committee recognised Ales Bialiatski’s commitment and work to promote human rights in Belarus when they awarded him the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Bialiatski’s arrest in 2021 is troubling in many ways, not least because the work of Viasna is about Belarus upholding its international commitments. Your country is signatory to the UN’s “Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” and the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. It is your responsibility to ensure the rights of your citizens are upheld in your country. It is your responsibility to ensure that your citizens and prisoners in your care are treated with dignity and humanity.  Yet, you imprison your countrymen and women who campaign to uphold the rights for which you are responsible.

It is now more than 500 days since Mr Bialiatski was arrested, and he is still without trial. At the same time, Mr Bialiatski’s organisation has documented that your regime detains more than 1,440 people who should never be in prison.

Along with the Nobel Committee we recognise and celebrate Mr Bialiatski’s commitment to peace and human rights. We call upon you to release him and all of the other prisoners whose rights you are denying.
Signed by,
Elisabeth Götze, Austrian National Council
Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, Austrian National Council
Petra Bayr, Austrian National Council
Stephanie Krisper, Austrian National Council
Fourat Ben Chikha, Belgium Federal Senate
Sigurd Agersnap, Danish Parliament
Eerik Kross, Estonian Riigikogu
Nicola Beer, European Parliament (Germany)
Delara Burkhardt, European Parliament (Germany)
Erik Marquardt, European Parliament (Germany)
Ciarán Cuffe, European Parliament (Ireland)
Seán Kelly, European Parliament (Ireland)
Rasa Juknevičienė, European Parliament (Lithuania)
Andrzej Halicki, European Parliament (Poland)
Miriam Lexmann, European Parliament (Slovakia)
Anne Stambach-Terrenoir, French National Assembly
Frédéric Mathieu, French National Assembly
Marie-Christine Dalloz, French National Assembly
André Vallini, French Senate
Claude Kern, French Senate
Didier Marie, French Senate
Jaques Le Nay, French Senate
Nicole Duranton, French Senate
Alexander Müller, German Bundestag
Agnieszka Brugger, German Bundestag
Anton Hofreiter, German Bundestag
Beate Walter-Rosenheimer, German Bundestag
Chantal Kopf, German Bundestag
Christoph Hoffmann, German Bundestag
Claudia Roth, German Bundestag
Deborah Düring, German Bundestag
Derya Türk-Nachbaur, German Bundestag
Dr. Konstantin v. Notz, German Bundestag
Dr. Ophelia Nick, German Bundestag
Dr. Paula Piechotta, German Bundestag
Dr. Sebastian Schäfer, German Bundestag
Dr. Till Steffen, German Bundestag
Erhard Grundl, German Bundestag
Frank Schwabe, German Bundestag
Franziska Brantner, German Bundestag
Gyde Jensen, German Bundestag
Hanna Steinmüller, German Bundestag
Helge Limburg, German Bundestag
Jamila Schäfer, German Bundestag
Dr. Jonas Geissler, German Bundestag
Julian Pahlke, German Bundestag
Jürgen Hardt, German Bundestag
Kai Gehring, German Bundestag
Katja Keul, German Bundestag
Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Vice President German Bundestag
Katrin Staffler, German Bundestag
Lars Rohwer, German Bundestag
Lisa Badum, German Bundestag
Lukas Benner, German Bundestag
Marcel Emmerich, German Bundestag
Max Lucks, German Bundestag
Merle Spellerberg, German Bundestag
Michael Brand, German Bundestag
Nina Stahr, German Bundestag
Norbert Altenkamp, German Bundestag
Nyke Slawik, German Bundestag
Olaf in der Beek, German Bundestag
Peter Heidt, German Bundestag
Prof. Dr. Armin Grau, German Bundestag
Robin Wagener, German Bundestag
Sara Nanni, German Bundestag
Stefan Gelbhaar, German Bundestag
Stephanie Aeffner, German Bundestag
Swantje Michaelsen, German Bundestag
Tabea Rößner, German Bundestag
Thomas Hacker, German Bundestag
Ye-One Rhie, German Bundestag
Ünal Çeviköz, Grand National Assembly of Turkey
Foteini Pipili, Greek Parliament
Cathal Berry, Irish Dáil
Cathal Crowe, Irish Dáil
Charlie Flanagan, Irish Dáil
Cormac Devlin, Irish Dáil
Denis Naughten, Irish Dáil
Gary Gannon, Irish Dáil
Ivana Bacik, Irish Dáil
James Lawless, Irish Dáil
Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, Irish Dáil
Marian Harkin, Irish Dáil
Neale Richmond, Irish Dáil
Seán Haughey, Irish Dáil
Seán Sherlock, Irish Dáil
Barry Ward, Irish Senate
Catherine Ardagh, Irish Senate
Erin McGreehan, Irish Senate
Gerard Craughwell, Irish Senate
Joe O'Reilly, Irish Senate
Malcolm Byrne, Irish Senate
Mary Seery Kearney, Irish Senate
Tom Clonan, Irish Senate
Arminas Lydeka, Lithuanian Parliament
Dag Inge Ulstein, Norwegian Sorting
Ingrid Fiskaa, Norwegian Sorting
Jan Tore Sanner, Norwegian Sorting
Siv Elisabeth Mossleth, Norwegian Sorting
Catarina Rocha Ferreira, Portuguese Assembly of the Republic
Paulo Pisco, Portuguese Assembly of the Republic
Iulian Bulai, Romanian parliament
Alexander Burnett, Scottish Parliament
Liam McArthur, Scottish Parliament
Willie Rennie, Scottish Parliament
Laura Castel i Fort, Senate of Spain
Camilla Hansén, Swedish Riksdag
Jacob Risberg, Swedish Riksdag
Jan Riise, Swedish Riksdag
Rebecka Le Moine, Swedish Riksdag
Ulrika Westerlund, Swedish Riksdag
Claudia Friedl, Swiss National Council
Damien Cottier, Swiss National Council
Fabian Molina, Swiss National Council
Lilian Studer, Swiss National Council
Martina Munz, Swiss National Council
Stefanie Prezioso, Swiss National Council
Hişyar Özsoy, Turkish member of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe
Brendan O'Hara, United Kingdom House of Commons
Daniel Kawczynski, United Kingdom House of Commons
Sir Tony Lloyd, United Kingdom House of Commons
Tonia Antoniazzi, United Kingdom House of Commons
Wendy Chamberlain, United Kingdom House of Commons
Baroness Blackstone, United Kingdom House of Lords
Baroness Helena Kennedy Q.C., United Kingdom House of Lords
Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick, United Kingdom House of Lords
Lord Alton of Liverpool, United Kingdom House of Lords
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, United Kingdom House of Lords
Lord Griffiths of Burry Port, United Kingdom House of Lords
Oleksiy Goncharenko, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine