As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Tomasz Frankowski (PO), Frank Junge (SPD) and Ingmar Jung (CDU) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Maryia Kalenik is a student at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts. She was detained on November 12 as part of a criminal case under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Tomasz Frankowski

Tomasz Frankowski, member of the European Parliament, the Delegation for relations with Belarus and the Culture and Education Committee, has taken over a godparenthood for Maryia Kalenik and stated: “As a Member of the Culture and Education Committee in the European Parliament I am particularly concerned by the situation of young people in Belarus, which includes a large number of the students detained. I am calling for the immediate and unconditional release and dropping of charges against all arrested students, including Maryia Kalenik.”

Ihar Prazhennikau was detained on October 4 during the March for the Release of Political Prisoners. He was not released after a 13-day term of detention. The man is charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Frank Junge

Frank Junge, member of the German Bundestag, has taken over a godparenthood for Ihar Prazhennikau and stated: “The citizens of Belarus were protesting peacefully against the results of the August 9th presidential elections. The elections were neither democratic, nor fair and free. However, they were wrongfully imprisoned for doing so and still remain in custody, without the chance to a free and fair trial. I personally took over the godparenthood for Ihar Prazhennikau, who was imprisoned on the 4th of October. He is a political prisoner, only because he was protesting for free and fair elections in Belarus. I demand that the Belarusian government immediately releases Ihar and all other political prisoners. The idea of Europe stands on the foundation of free speech, fair elections and the rule of law. Alexander Lukaschenka and the whole Belarusian government should abide by that.”

Pavel Niadbaila was detained on September 29 and charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. 

Ingmar Jung

Ingmar Jung, Member of the German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood for Pavel Niadbaila. On this occasion Mr Jung stated: “Fairness and justice are values that have always been very important to me and also drive me in my political work. I admire the courage and the will of the people in Belarus to demonstrate on the streets for free and fair elections and to oppose the regime, despite the fact that they are threatened with imprisonment and long prison sentences. I want to assure the people of Belarus that they are not alone. We parliamentarians in the German Bundestag follow their courageous protest and do not look away when injustice is done to them. That is why I have taken over the godparenthood for the political prisoner Pavel Niadbaila and will campaign for his release.”