The authorities continue to press on human rights activists from Viasna centre.
“When the tax audit for ten years didn't find any violations able to prove I was hiding my incomes, I was told that the tax office received information from Ales Byalyatski's case, the part relating to my evidence and admission of the fact that I had received money from him for human rights activity. Moreover, the case mentions an account held in my name. It is the second attempt, this time through taxation bodies, to find out for what purposes the account was opened and what money was transferred to it,” Tatyana Ravyaka, a member of the Council of Viasna human rights centre, told charter97.org.
According to the human rights activist, the authorities use all means to press on Viasna staff:
“The Belarusian authorities are probably disappointed that the arrest of Ales Byalyatski didn't lead to the collapse of Viasna. The organisation works effectively. The authorities use all tools to apply pressure on members of the human rights centre. Seizure of our office yesterday was a painful blow. Ales Byalyatski is in jail. Valyantin Stefanovich has stood many trials this year. He had to pay significant penalties for the money he had received for human rights activities. We should thank God that he is not jailed. Imposing a travel ban on Viasna members, summonses to the KGB and tax audits are just a reaction to our activity.”
The human rights defender thinks the maximum sanction she can have is opening an administrative case:
“They are interested in the sums mentioned in court materials in Byalaytski's case. The most serious thing I can face in connection with this information is an administrative case.”