As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Timmy Dooley (Irish Upper House, Fianna Fáil), Marian Harkin (Irish Lower House, Independent) and Elisabeth Götze (National Council, The Greens) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Yauhen Kalinouski is a 22-year-old student of the Belarusian State University. Yauhen was accused of having disturbed public order. On January 5 he was sentenced to four years in prison.

Timmy Dooley

Timmy Dooley, member of the Seanad Éireann, has taken over the godparenthood for Yauhen Kalinouski and stated: “I stand by Yauhen Kalinouski, a young student jailed for participating in a peaceful political rally in #Belarus, and I urge his immediate release.”

Maksim Zinevich was detained on August 19, 2020 and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. He is being held in a pre-trial detention center in Brest.

Marian Harkin


Marian Harkin, member of the Dáil Éireann, has taken over the godparenthood for Maksim Zinevich and stated: “I stand with Maksim Zinevich as he is held illegally in a Belarusian prison and the people of #Belarus who continue to fight for their human rights and their right to peaceful protest.”

Artsiom Takarchuk is a 34-year-old architect from Minsk. Artsiom was detained twice and badly beaten in both cases. He was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for resisting armed forces during the “March of Heroes” in September 2020. 

Elisabeth Götze

Elisabeth Götze, member of the Austrian National Council, has taken over the godparenthood for Artsiom Takarchuk. On this occasion, Ms Götze stated: “Minsk is closer to Vienna than Paris…. unfortunately only in terms of physical distance, not politically. We are watching the developments in Belarus with great concern! Our solidarity goes out to all people in Belarus who stand up for human rights, for european values such as freedom and equality before the law and to all those who are imprisoned for this reason. Also Artsiom Takarchuk, 34-year-old architect, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison in November 2020 for resisting a member of the armed forces and this despite the fact, that the alleged victim asked for Artsiom’s acquittal. I urge the authorities to release Artsiom Takarchuk immediately. For Artsiom and for the political rapprochement of Belarus with Europe!”