haidokouAppeal to President Lukashenka to decree a special amnesty under which all political prisoners in Belarus will be released

The political prisoner Andrei Haidukou has been released from Vitebsk prison on 8 Mai 2014. On 8 November 2012, KGB officers detained Haidukou and transferred him to a KGB investigative isolation facility. On 1 July 2013, Haidukou was sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment.

We appreciate the release of Andrei Haidukou as a first step. However, we respectfully ask President Lukashenka to decree a special amnesty under which Ihar Alienevich, Ales Bialiatski, Mikalai Dziadok, Eduard Lobau, Vasil Parfiankou, Artsiom Prakapenka, Mikalai Statkevich and Yauhen Vaskovich will be released.

According to information from Belarusian and international human rights organisations, the above-mentioned people are all political prisoners, whose imprisonment is a serious violation of human rights. According to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Belarus is obligated to guarantee these rights, having already signed up to the covenant.

The reason given for the imprisonment of these political prisoners is a serious violation of human rights. This could easily be ended by this special amnesty.

This appeal has been supported by 3136 people among them Christoph Strässer, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, members of the German Bundestag, Marieluise Beck and Ute Finckh-Krämer, members of the European Parliament, Marek Migalski, Werner Schulz and Sari Essayah, plus member of the Swiss Parliament Jean-François Steiert.

Furthermore we fiercely condemn the systematic imprisonment of the political opposition in Belarus in the run-up to the ice hockey world championship 2014. At least 20 opponents of the Lukashenka regime have been arrested and sentenced to between 5 and 25 days in prison. We demand that President Lukashenka release all prisoners immediately and unconditionally. In addition, we demand that this ongoing prosecution of political opponents, to coincide with the ice hockey world championship, must stop.