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Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English

As part of Libereco’s solidarity campaign #WeStandBYyou Samuel Cogolati (Kamer, Belgium), Dietmar Köster (European Parliament, Germany) und Ursula Groden-Kranich (Bundestag, Germany) have taken over a godparenthood for political prisoners in Belarus and demand their immediate and unconditional release.
Aliaksandr Shabalin is a member of the nomination group of presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Gomel. He was arrested after the elections of 9 August 2020 and charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“organisation of mass riots”).
Samuel Cogolati, Ecolo deputy in the Belgian Kamer, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Aliaksandr Shabalin. He declared: ”What we have seen in Lukashenka’s regime is unacceptable. But Belarusian people know better. They invented a new kind of peaceful protest. Because exerting violence requires no courage; it is standing up peacefully against it that constitutes an act of bravery. That is why, as a Belgian MP, I will not simply stand by and look as the government of a bordering nation batters its own citizens for expressing their will to decide what future they want for themselves. I want all political prisoners to be released. All Belarussians should be able to lead peaceful protests without having to fear for their own safety.”
According to the police, Alena Maushuk allegedly tried to beat police officers with a stick. She was also arrested after the elections on 9 August 2020 and charged under Article 293 of the Belarusian Criminal Code (“participation in mass riots”).
Dietmar Köster, SPD Member of the European Parliament and member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Human Rights, said on the occasion of his godparenthood for Alena Maushuk: “The democracy movement in Belarus has many faces. Alena Maushuk is one of them. She is one of the many courageous women in Belarus who organise protests and take to the streets against Lukashenka’s dictatorship, against his despotic system. I call for the immediate release of Alena Maushuk and all other political prisoners in Belarus. I stand alongside the democracy movement and support it in its fight for freedom and human rights. Police violence and attacks on demonstrators must stop. The disappearance of demonstrators and opposition politicians must be investigated.”
Pavel Piaskou was sentenced on 29 September to 3 years and 3 months in prison under Article 363 of the Belarusian Criminal Code. He is accused of violently resisting the police during the arrest of peaceful demonstrators at a rally on 19 June in Maladziečna.
Ursula Groden-Kranich, CDU deputy in the German Bundestag and member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union, has taken over the prisoner’s godparenthood for Pavel Piaskou. She said: “I call for the immediate release of Pavel Piaskou and all other detainees who are fighting for their rights and freedom, for democracy and the rule of law and for fair elections”.


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