As part of the solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou of Libereco, Jakop Dalunde (European Parliament, Miljöpartiet de gröna, Sweden), Camilla Hansén (Riksdag of Sweden, Miljöpartiet de gröna, Sweden) and Seán Kelly (European Parliament, Fine Gael, Ireland) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus.
Aliaksandr Tseleshman was detained for the first time on 14 August for having participated in “mass riots”. He was later released but detained again on 8 February. He is currently being held in Brest.
Jakop Dalunde, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Aliaksandr Tseleshman and stated: “I demand the immediate release of Aliaksandr Tseleshman and all other political prisoners in Belarus. I strongly condemn the mass arrests of civilians protesting the fraudulent elections of last year, which show a complete disregard on behalf of the Belarusian state apparatus of the most basic democratic and human rights. The blatant disregard of Aliaksandr’s rights as a minor at the time of his first detention is particularly deplorable. Belarus must immediately stop infringing on their citizens’ fundamental rights and ensure free and fair elections. Until they do, Europe will not be silent, and I as a Member of the European Parliament will use my voice to speak up. Free all political prisoners and stop illegal arrests. Immediately drop all charges against Aliaksandr Tseleshman and release him without delay.”
Ales Pushkin is a known artist. He was detained on 30 March for “incitement to hatred”. He is currently being held in pre-trial detention in Minsk.
Camilla Hansén, member of the Swedish Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Ales Pushkin and stated: “I strongly condemn the arrest of Ales Pushkin in mars. I demand the immediate release of Ales Pushkin and all other political prisoners in Belarus. The increasing numbers of political prisoners in Belarus is violating the most basic democratic and human rights. Belarus must immediately stop infringing on their citizens’ fundamental rights to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression in all aspects, including artistic expression. Belarus must also ensure free and fair elections. Until they do, Europe will not be silent. I, as a Member of the Swedish Parliament’s Committee on Foreign affairs, will use my voice to speak up until then.”
Artsiom Miadzvedski was arrested for having taken part in protests. He was charged under article 293 (“participation in mass riots”) of the Belarusian Criminal Code. On 15 January he was sentenced to three years of “restricted freedom”.
Seán Kelly, member of the European Parliament, has taken over the godparenthood for Artsiom Miadzvedski. On this occasion Mr. Kelly stated: “I am taking part in Libereco’s campaign to adopt a political prisoner because I condemn the violence of the Lukashenka regime, and the repression of peaceful protesters. I am sponsoring 23-year-old, Artsiom Miadzvedski, who has been sentenced to three years of “restricted freedom”. He is just one of the many peaceful protesters being held in prisons for exercising their right to participate in peaceful assemblies, express their opinions and be involved in political activities.”