Campaign to release Ales Bialiatski

The case against Ales Bialiatski is directly connected to the human rights work of Viasna, the most prominent human rights organisation in Belarus. Viasna has been denied registration by the authorities on several occasions but continues to work for the rights of the people. According to Belarusian legislation it is illegal to work for an unregistered organisation.

On August 4, 2011, Ales Bialiatski, president of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, was detained on charges of ”concealement of income on an especially large scale”. For this, he risks up to seven years in prison. Sunday September 25 is his birthday.

We demand that the Belarusian authorities immediately and unconditionally release Ales Bialiatski and all political prisoners in Belarus. We furthermore demand that the Belarusian authorities end harassment of the civil society and allow human rights defenders to work freely in Belarus.

You need to help us keep this issue alive. This is what you can do:

– Write a postcard and send it to Ales. Congratulate him on his birthday or just show your support. Help us break his isolation. He needs to know that people care. Send your postcard to: Ales Bialiatski, 220030, 2, Valadarski Street, SIZA-1, Minsk, Belarus

– Spread the word among your friends and urge them to do the same, please feel free to use our picbadge on facebook.

Support Civil Rights Defenders with a donation, with your help we can do even more.

Brief background:
Since the presidential elections in December 2010 the Belarusian authorities have increased persecution of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists, and political opponents. Three of the presidential candidates Sannikau, Statkevich and Uss, are among those still in prison.

Lately, though, president Alexander Lukashenka has released several of the political prisoners. One possible explanation is the state of the Belarusian economy and the need for foreign loans. The EU has clearly stated that the release of all political prisoners is the first condition before even thinking about possible negotiations or dialogue on various matters.

The economical crisis has led to an increased discontent among the population. This has been visible through “the silent protests” and the protests against raised fuel prices that took place during the spring and summer of 2011.

Ales Bialiatski is a scholar of Belarusian literature and a member of the Belarusian Writer’s Union. He founded Viasna in 1996 providing legal and other assistance to civic and political activists. In 2005, he was awarded the Homo Homini prize of the Czech NGO “People in Need”, and in 2006 the Per Anger prize by the Swedish government, after being nominated by Civil Rights Defenders. Ales Bialiatski is also the vice-president of International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

Categories: News.
Tags: Ales Bialiatski and Viasna.
Regions: Belarus.