The Norwegian Helsinki Committee dedicates this year’s International Human Rights Day to political prisoners in Belarus.
Belarusian prisons currently hold 12 political prisoners, many of whom have languished in prison since the crack-down against peaceful protesters in Minsk on 19 December 2010 – almost two years ago. A list of political prisoners in Belarus can be found here. NHC is concerned about the health and safety of the political prisoners after repeated reports of ill-treatment of them.
Today is the 64th Anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The holding of prisoners for their political views and their protesting against oppression runs counter to the very idea of the Universal Declaration, and we ask Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko to immediately release the prisoners.
On this day, when the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the European Union in Oslo, we also find reason to reiterate that one of the favorite candidates for the Nobel Peace prize, human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, is counted among the Belarusian political prisoners. We now urge the European Union to take this opportunity to join us in demanding the release of the political prisoners in the European country Belarus.