As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou, Jamila Schäfer (German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens, Claudia Raffelhüschen (German Bundestag, Free Democratic Party) and Sonja Eichwede (German Bundestag, Social Democratic Party) have taken on a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Yuryi Selvich has been detained since 10 March 2022. He belongs to a group of people known as the “Railway Guerrillas”. They allegedly tried to disrupt the passage of Russian troops through Belarus by damaging railway infrastructure.
Jamila Schäfer, Member of the German Bundestag and of the Foreign Affairs Committee, has taken on the godparenthood of Yuryi Selvich. She states: “Almost two years after the start of protests in Belarus, more than 1,100 political activists are still imprisoned. This now includes Yuryi Selvich, who was detained for allegedly planning to attack Russian military cargo for the war in Ukraine. We must not forget these incredible acts of bravery by people like Yuryi Selvich. Instead, he is now facing the threat of execution, as the Belarusian government has expanded the list of crimes punishable by death. All political prisoners need to be immediately released and the death penalty needs to be abolished in the only European country still carrying out executions.”
Aliaksandr Fiaduta is a political analyst and literary scholar. He was arrested in Moscow on 12 April 2021. Now he is imprisoned in Belarus and charged with alleged “conspiracy to unconstitutionally seize power” (Art. 357).
Claudia Raffelhüschen, member of the German Bundestag, declares on the occasion of her godparenthood for Fiaduta: “Aliaksandr Fiaduta is one of many political prisoners in Belarus and he is defencelessly exposed to the regime there. I call on Belarus to immediately provide Mr Fiaduta, who is obviously in poor health, with a lawyer of his choice and to provide him with appropriate medical care. Furthermore, my Parliamentary Group and I stand closely alongside all persecuted, threatened and unjustly imprisoned people in Belarus; we stand in solidarity with all those who stand up for democratic principles, freedom and the rule of law.”
Danila Bandaruk has already been imprisoned since 22 August 2020. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison for alleged “participation in riots” (Criminal Code, Art. 293) and “hooliganism” (Art. 339).
Sonja Eichwede is a member of the German Bundestag. Upon taking on the godparenthood for Danila Bandaruk, she states: “As one of many young people in Belarus, striving for freedom and democracy, Danila Bandaruk was arrested for protesting against the rigged presidential elections and against the Belarusian dictator Lukashenka who in order to stay in power can only rely on force, but no longer on a legitimate vote from the Belarusian people. We must not forget the fight of Danila and so many others and remain and act in solidarity – in word and in deed. And we will not stop doing so until Danila and every single other political prisoners is free, the Belarusian people have their liberty and Alexander Lukashenka resigns from power.
To Danila Bandaruk and all the others fighting for democracy in Belarus I say #WeStandBYyou”