As part of Libereco’s #WeStandBYyou solidarity campaign, Rachel Hopkins (House of Commons, Labour Party, UK), Jennifer Carroll MacNeill (Dáil Éireann, Fine Gael, Ireland) and Daniela Kolbe (Deutscher Bundestag, SPD, Germany) are becoming godparents of political prisoners in Belarus.

Rachel Hopkins

Anton Lakishyk is a 21-year-old technician from Minsk. He was sentenced to three years in prison on November 18 for assaulting a riot police officer on July 14th (Article 364 of the Belarusian Criminal Code: violence or threat of violence against an employee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs). He is serving his sentence in penal colony No. 2 in Babruysk.

Rachel Hopkins, member of the House of Commons, has sponsored Anton Lakishyk, stating, “The authoritarian repression of demonstrators in Belarus is truly disgraceful, and I want to send my solidarity to all those committed to standing up for their human rights and advocating for a better, more democratic country. I support  Anton Lakishyk who has been given a three-year conviction for allegedly attacking a riot policeman who has showed no injuries and chose not to seek medical help. The Belarus authorities must free Anton and others who have been convicted for fighting for freedom  and democracy in Belarus by taking part in peaceful demonstrations.”

Daniil Bohnat was sentenced to six years in a penal colony on April 30, 2021. He is accused of taking part in riots on the night of August 9, 2020 in Pinsk ( Art. 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, member of Dáil Eireann, has taken over the godparenthood of Daniil Bohnat and declared: “Danill Bohnat was just 18 years old when he was arrested whilst peacefully protesting the rigged presidential election in Belarus. After a year in custody, Danill was sentenced to 6 years in jail this time last month. Freedom of peaceful assembly is guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I urge Lukashenka to free all Belarusian political prisoners. They are fully entitled to speak out against authoritarianism.”

Daniela Kolbe

Aliaksandr Babrou is an employee of the BMZ steel plant in Žlobin. On August 17, Yauhen Hovar and other BMZ employees blocked the road for the plant’s escort vehicles in protest against election fraud and violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators. On February 1, the Žlobin District Court found him guilty of “disturbing public order” (Part 1 of Article 342 of the Criminal Code) and sentenced him to two and a half years in prison which is penal colony No. 13 in Hlubokaje.

Daniela Kolbe, member of German Bundestag, has taken over the godparenthood of Aliaksandr Babrou. On the occasion of her godparenthood, Ms. Kolbe states: “The case of Protasevich shows how unscrupulous the regime in Belarus acts. It is even more important to show solidarity for the many political prisoners in the country and to fight for their release! That’s why today I wrote a letter to Aliaksandr Babrou, who was imprisoned after a strike. #WeStandBYyou”