As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Baroness Angela Smith (House of Lords, Labour Party), Katharina Prelicz-Huber (National Council, The Greens) and Benjamin Roduit (National Council, The Centre) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. 

Ryhor Hunko is one of the many protesters detained in Pinsk following the events of August 9. He is charged under Article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Baroness Angela Smith

Baroness Angela Smith, member of the British House of Lords, has taken over the godparenthood for Ryhor Hunko and stated: “I stand alongside Ryhor Hunko. He has now been in prison for almost 6 months – with no trial, just for participating in peaceful post-election protests.  Across the world there has rightly been widespread condemnation of the conduct of the elections and the brutal and violent response to those who wanted their voices to be heard in opposition to these elections. The right to peacefully protest is a fundamental dignity and human right that is essential for any and every country that claims to be a democracy. I and many others are concerned for the safety of Ryhor Hunko and he should be released immediately.”

Illia Trakhtenberg is an expelled student of the Belarusian State University. He was detained on November 12 and charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code for having disturbed public order.

Katharina Prelicz-Huber

Katharina Prelicz-Huber, member of the Swiss National Council, has taken over the godparenthood for llia Trakhtenberg and stated: “I stand by the people in Belarus who are fighting peacefully for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression. I stand in solidarity with them. I call for an immediate end to the violence, the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and fair new elections. My thoughts are with Illia Trakhtenberg, a detained student who, like many others, has been the innocent victim of repression and violence simply for having protested peacefully. This is unacceptable! I demand his immediate release and hereby take over his godparenthood.”

Kseniya Lutskina is a journalist. She was detained on December 22. She had scheduled an “alternative television” in January on Youtube together with other journalists. She is charged under Article 243 (“tax evasion”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Benjamin Roduit

Benjamin Roduit, member of the Swiss National Council, has taken over the godparenthood for Kseniya Lutskina. On this occasion Mr Roduit stated: “Freedom of expression, particularly of the press, is one of the fundamental rights of any democracy. We cannot tolerate that a state that claims to be democratic does not respect this right. For this reason, the journalist Kseniya Lutskina must be released without delay.”