As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco – Partnership for Human Rights, three other members of the German Bundestag have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus. Karl-Heinz Brunner (SPD), Omid Nouripour (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen) and Frank Schwabe (SPD) demand their immediate and unconditional release

Karl-Heinz Brunner

Eduard Babaryka is the son of the presidential candidate Viktar Babaryka and the leader of his nomination group. He was arrested on 18 June together with his father on his way to the Central Election Commission. Eduard Babaryka was charged under Article 243 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“tax evasion on a particularly large scale”).

Karl-Heinz Brunner, member of the Bundestag for the SPD, has taken over the godparenthood of Eduard Babaryka. He states: “People in Belarus are rightly protesting against the dictatorial Lukashenko regime and the rigged presidential election. Wherever human rights, democracy and the rule of law are violated, we must stand by the side of the oppressed. I have therefore symbolically taken over the godparenthood of Eduard Babaryka, who has been imprisoned in a KGB prison since 18 June for supporting his father Viktar Babaryka’s election campaign. This arrest is shameful. It is not a crime to campaign for democratic elections. With this godparenthood I want to send a signal: I will not look away. I do not recognise this rigged election. I demand the immediate release of Eduard Babaryka and all political prisoners in Belarus!”

Siarhei Piatrukhin is a blogger from Brest, author of the YouTube channels “Narodnyi Reportyor” (“People’s Reporter”) and “YouTube Deputaty” (“YouTube MPs”). He was arrested on 16 June in connection with an election rally in Grodno on 29 May and charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“organising and preparing actions grossly violating public order”).

Omid Nouripour

Omid Nouripour, foreign policy spokesman for the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group in the Bundestag, said on the occasion of his taking over his prisoner’s godparenthood of Siarhei Piatrukhin: “Lukashenka has caused a massive political crisis in his country due to the falsified election results. For weeks Belarusians have been taking to the streets and campaigning for a free and fair election in the country. There they are often confronted with violence and terror. Peaceful protesters, political activists and journalists are persecuted, arrested and kidnapped. The Belarusian state has committed itself to generally applicable human rights standards. I call on the Belarusian authorities to respect their obligations under international law and to end the persecution of Siarhei Piatrukhin and other political prisoners. They must be released immediately, unconditionally and without harm”.

Frank Schwabe

Aliaksandr Kabanau is a blogger from Brest, author of the YouTube channel “Narodnyi Reportyor” (“People’s Reporter”) and spokesman for the nomination group of the presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. He was arrested on 15 June in connection with an election event in Grodno on 29 May and was also charged under Article 342 of the Belarusian Criminal Code.

Frank Schwabe, spokesman for human rights and humanitarian aid for the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, has taken over the prisoner ‘s godparenthood of Aliaksandr Kabanau. He states: “The political prisoners in Belarus must be released immediately. I am also committed to this in the context of the #WeStandByYou campaign. As a member of the Bundestag, I call for the immediate release of Aliaksandr Kabanau and all other political prisoners. Freedom of expression is a human right and not a crime. Human rights are universal and must apply throughout the world. Those responsible for serious ill-treatment and human rights violations in Belarus must be held accountable nationally and internationally”.