As part of our #WeStandBYyou solidarity campaign, four Scottish MPs of the Scottish National Party Christina McKelvie, Angus Robertson, Neil Gray and Emma Roddick take on a godparenthood for Natallia Dulina, Eduard Babaryka, Siarhei Vaitsiuk and Volha Tserakh.

Christina McKelvie, Angus Robertson, Neil Gray & Emma Roddick

Christina McKelvie (Minister for Drugs and Alcohol Policy) supports Natallia Dulina, formerly associate professor at Minsk State Linguistic University who was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. Natallia took part in protests and supported student strikes. She was charged with “Promoting extremist activities” (Art. 361-4) and “Violation of public order” (Art. 342).

Angus Robertson (Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture) supports Eduard Babaryka, who was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his role as head of his father’s election team in the 2022 Presidential Election. The charges against Eduard included “Incitement to hatred” (Art. 130) and “Violation of public order” (Art. 342).

Neil Gray (Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care) supports Siarhei Vaitsiuk, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for advocating support for Ukrainian resistance following the invasion by Russia in 2022. Siarhei was charged with “Participation in hostilities on foreign soil” (Art. 361-3).

Emma Roddick (Minister for Equalities, Migration and Refugees) supports Volha Tserakh, who was sentenced to 5 years in prison for hanging Ukrainian and Belarusian national flags in a high-rise building in Minsk. Volha was part of a chat group discussing anti-war actions. After her arrest, the group was declared an “extremist formation” and Volha was charged with “Creation of or participation in an extremist formation” (Art. 361-1) and “Promoting extremist activities” (Art. 361-4).

Commenting on the four new godparenthoods, Angus Robertson explains:

 "The Scottish Government stands with those who suffer injustices, and we will use our platform to advocate for change. By participating in the Libereco 'godparenting' scheme, we hope to bring further international attention to the human rights situation in Belarus and we stand united with those who seek fairness, equality and justice."