On the occasion of the fourth anniversary of the conviction of Ihar Alinevich, sentenced to 8 years in prison on 27 May 2011, Marieluise Beck, Speaker on Eastern European Politics of the Green Party Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag and Prisoner’s Godparent for Ihar Alinevich, stated:
„Ihar Alinevich must be released immediately. He has the right to a fair trial so that the charges against him can be proved impartially. We are very concerned about the fact that political prisoners in Belarus are being punished by additional repression in jail. Repeatedly several prisoners have had to endure solitary confinement, insufficient medical treatment and unacceptable conditions of imprisonment. The obvious intention is to force these political prisoners to apply for pardon and at the same time confess their guilt.
Ihar Alinevich was a member of a group calling themselves „anarchists“. This group is linked to several political campaigns that have caused violent damage to property. The prosecution and sentence against Ihar Alinevich referred to such actions. Ihar Alinevich affirms that he was not involved in the said offences and in the meantime he has also distanced himself from that group. The trial against Ihar Alinevich was characterised by serious violations of constitutional principles. He was kidnapped by unknown persons during his exile in Moscow and was brought before the KGB in Belarus. During his interrogation he was abused mentally and physically. His extraordinarily draconian punishment of 8 years in prison indicates a politically motivated sentence.
I do not share the ideas of the „anarchists“ in Belarus. However, they have the right to a constitutional trial. Given that such trials are not normally granted in Belarus, I have taken over a Godparenthood for Ihar Alinevich within the framework of Libereco’s Godparenthood campaign for the political prisoners in Belarus.“
The Prisoners’ Godparenthood campaign for political prisoners in Belarus was initiated by Libereco to support both the prisoners and their relatives. Belarusian and international human rights organisations regard Ihar Alinevich as a prisoner of conscience and are calling for his immediate and unconditional release.
Together with the Belarusian Human Rights Center Viasna and the independent watchdog organization Freedom House, Libereco has launched a joint online petition to demand the release of all political prisoners, among them Ihar Alinevich, from Belarusian president Lukashenka.
Update 22.08.2015: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka released all political prisoners.