As part of our solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Tony Lloyd (UK, House of Commons, Labour Party), Detlef Müller (German Bundestag, Social Democratic Party) and Mélanie Vogel (French Senate, Europe Ecology – The Greens) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Tony Lloyd

Yana Pinchuk was detained in St. Petersburg on 1 November 2021 and charged under Art. 361 (Calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security), Art. 361-1 (Creation of an extremist formation, or participation in it) and Art. 130 (Incitement to hatred) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. On 9 August 2022, she was extradited from Russia to Belarus despite an extradition ban by the UN Human Rights Committee.

Tony Lloyd, member of the House of Commons, has taken on the godparenthood for Yana Pinchuk and declared: “I am proud to become the ‘godparent’ of Yana Pinchuk, who could be sentenced to 12 years in harsh prison conditions in Belarus simply because she is accused of having run a Telegram channel critical of the illegitimate Lukashenka regime. We will continue to highlight the situation in Belarus to ensure that political prisoners like Yana are not forgotten. The Lukashenka regime must know that we are watching, and those like Yana who are being persecuted by that regime need to know that they are supported.”


Detlef Müller

Vasil Berasnieu was arrested on 19 April 2022. He is charged under Art. 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code and accused of group actions that grossly violate public order.

Detlef Müller, member of the German Bundestag and former godparent of the now released Yauhen Dzmitryeu, has taken on a godparenthood for Vasil Berasnieu and states: „After godparenting the Belarusian citizen and activist Yauhen Dzmitryeu for the last few years, who has fortunately been released in the meantime, I would like to continue to call for the release of political prisoners with a new sponsorship. Vasil Berasnieu is the leader of an independent trade union movement of radio and electrical workers, which was classified as terrorist by the KGB and its activities banned. My solidarity is with all those who, through their peaceful activist protest, stand up against the unconscionable Belarusian government and for a free democratic state, just as Vasil Berasnieu did. I stand in solidarity against any form of brutality on the part of the government and demand the immediate release of all political prisoners.“


Mélanie Vogel

Natallia Nikitsina, was detained on 29 September 2021 and charged under Art. 369 (Insulting a government official) and Art. 130 (Incitement to hatred) to 22 months of imprisonment and a fine of 6400 Belarusian rubles (2500 US dollars).

Mélanie Vogel, member of the French Senate, has taken on the godparenthood for Natallia Nikitsina and declares: “Natallia Nikitsina, a child psychiatrist, has been detained arbitrarily in Minsk for political reasons. The Belarusian court found her guilty for commenting on social networks, alongside with more than 200 people, about the suspicious death of a computer engineer and a Belarusian intelligence officer. The political nature of this judgment has been recognized by the Belarusian organization Viasna, supported by the International Federation for Human Rights. In detention, Natallia Nikitsina does not have access to the necessary medical care even though she suffers from heart complications, and she has not received any letters or parcels from her family since February 24th this year. I call on the Belarusian authorities to ensure Natallia Nikitsina access to the necessary medical care and to release her without delay.”