René Röspel, member of the German-Belarusian Parliamentary Friendship Group, has taken on a prisoner’s godparenthood for Fiodar Mirzayanau.
The member of German Bundestag stated:
“I have been appalled by the violence surrounding the presidential elections in December 2010 and the subsequent arrests and convictions. When young people like Fiodar Mirzayanau are arrested in Belarus solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression, we in Germany must not look away.
By becoming a godparent, I want to show that we are watching what happens in Belarus very closely. And, in particular, that we have not forgotten those who are behind bars! By taking this step, I would like to encourage the young people in Belarus to become politically active, to speak out against injustice and to demand their right to democratic elections.”
The Prisoner’s Godparenthood campaign for the political prisoners in Belarus was initiated by human rights organisation Libereco - Partnership for Human Rights to support the prisoners and their relative.
Fiodar Mirzayanau, a 20-year-old student, took part in the protests against the manipulation of the Belarusian presidential elections in the evening of 19 December 2010, election day. He is not a member of a political party or any opposition youth organisation. When the demonstration was violently dispersed, Fiodar Mizayanau was arrested and detained for 15 days. Three weeks after his release, he was arrested again on 25 January 2011 by the KGB and charged with organising mass riots. In an unfair trial, Fiodar Mirzayanau was found guilty and, on 14 May 2011, sentenced to 3 years in prison.
Belarusian and international human rights organisations recognize Fiodar Mirzayanau as a prisoner of conscience and are calling for his immediate and unconditional release.