As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Tony Lloyd (House of Commons, Labour Party), Nicolas Walder (National Council, The Greens) and Gunther Krichbaum (Bundestag, CDU) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Darya Chultsova is a Belsat TV journalist, who was accused of “organizing actions that grossly violate public order” under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code. She was detained after a live broadcast on a peaceful protest in the “Square of Change” in Minsk on November 15.

Tony Lloyd

Tony Lloyd, member of the British House of Commons, has taken over the godparenthood for Darya Chultsova and stated: “I am proud to support Darya Chultsova in her struggle for justice. Her “crime” is to be a journalist seeking to report the truth to the people of Belarus and beyond which is no crime at all but what we expect journalists to do on our behalf. Her struggle is tied up with those who are fighting for a better Belarus after last year’s fraudulent Presidential election result. Her detention is shocking and I call upon the Belarus authorities to set her free and recognise that it is she who is the true patriot in wanting a better, more truthful Belarus.”

Viktar Aktsistau is a 20-year-old student at the Institute of Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Business and Law. On December 30, Viktar was sentenced to two and a half years in prison under Article 364 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for using violence against a riot police officer. He has been in custody since September 21. Viktar was severely beaten during his detention, and his whereabouts were unknown for several days.

Nicolas Walder

Nicolas Walder, member of the Swiss National Council, has taken over the godparenthood for Viktar Aktsistau and stated: “Violent repression of demonstrators in Belarus is intolerable.  In the face of the increasing number of human rights crimes in this country, I can only express my full solidarity with the people who are fighting for their freedom on a daily basis. I also call for the release of all political prisoners. Among them is a 20-year-old student living in Minsk, Viktar Aktsistau, who was beaten and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for simply taking part in a peaceful demonstration. He should be released immediately!”

Aleh Hrableuski is a legal counsellor at the Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He was detained on February 3. Hrableuski stated that the officers called him a criminal and a swindler. They accused the NGO he’s working for of referring several disabled persons to lawyers who helped these people defend their rights in protest-related cases. Hrableuski also said that during interrogation he was stripped naked and threatened with reprisals. No lawyers were allowed to intervene.

Gunther Krichbaum

Gunther Krichbaum, Member of the German Bundestag and Chairman of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union, has taken over the godparenthood for Aleh Hrableuski. On this occasion Mr Krichbaum stated: “In a constitutional state, every person is entitled to legal assistance and advice. This is exactly the kind of help that lawyer Aleh Hrableuski from the NGO “Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” in Minsk has offered to people with disabilities. This activity is obviously a thorn in the side of the regime in Belarus. Aleh Hrableuski was arrested on flimsy grounds together with a colleague. I call on those in power in Minsk to release Aleh Hrableuski and his colleague Siarhei Drazdouski immediately.”