Human rights organization Libereco demand a special amnesty from Belarusian authorities on the occasion of Ice Hockey World Championship

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On the occasion of the Ice Hockey World Championship, which will take place in Belarus in May, human rights defenders and parliamentarians demand a special amnesty from Belarusian president Lukashenka for the release of all political prisoners and have launched an online petition that you can sign on www.lphr.org/petition.

Currently nine people are under arrest for political reasons in Belarus. Among them nobel peace prize nominee Ales Bialiatski, for whom Katrin Göring-Eckardt, chairwoman of Green Party Bundestag´s parliamentary group, has undertaken one prisoner´s godparenthood.

Since the December 2010 presidential elections, the then-candidate Mikalai Statkevich has been detained. Among others Marek Migalski, member of the European Parliament, and Franz Thönnes, member of the German Bundestag, are campaigning for his release.

In addition, Christoph Strässer, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, has become one of first signees of the petition launched by Libereco. Moreover the petition is supported by members of the German Bundestag, Marieluise Beck and Ute Finckh-Krämer, members of the European Parliament, Werner Schulz and Sari Essayah, plus member of the Swiss Parliament Jean-François Steiert.

In the framework of the special amnesty, in addition to the release of Ales Bialiatski and Mikalai Statkevich, there has also been a demand that the remaining political prisoners Ihar Alienevich, Mikalai Dziadok, Andrei Haidukou, Eduard Lobau, Vasil Parfiankou, Artsiom Prakapenka, and Yauhen Vaskovich should be released.

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.

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