Index on Censorship demands freedom for Ales Bialiatski
11:17, — Politics
Index on Censorship joins the International Day of Solidarity with Belarusian human rights activists.
Kirsty Hughes, the Chief Executive of Index on Censorship said:
УThe detention of Nobel prize nominee Ales Bialiatski shows Lukashenka is attempting to silence independent voices and close down any criticism in Belarus. Bialiatski is one of BelarusТs leading human rights defenders and should be freed immediately.Ф
Index on Censorship joins the International Day of Solidarity with Belarusian human rights activists and civil society, announced by a number of international organizations on August 4, the first anniversary of the arrest of Ales Bialiatski, writes BelaPAN.
Index on Censorship is an organization with a 40-year history, which is located in London. The scope of its activities is the freedom of expression in the widest sense. Belarus is in the center of its attention for quite a long time: Index heads the Committee on Belarus, which includes representatives of international organizations concerned with issues of freedom of expression and human rights, including Amnesty International, Article 19, English PEN, the campaign Free Belarus Now and Belarusian "Free Theatre". The well-known British playwright Tom Stoppard is also Member of the Belarusian Committee.
On last November, the court of Pervomaisky district of Minsk found Bialiatski guilty of concealing income on a large scale, and sentenced him to four and a half years imprisonment in a maximum security colony with confiscation of property. The basis for the prosecution became foreign bank accounts of the human rights activist, funds from which were used for activities of the human rights center "Viasna". The court also did not take into consideration the fact that the damage, allegedly, caused by Bialatski was fully repaid by voluntary contributions of citizens.
Arrest of Bialiatski had a wide international response. Belarusian human rights activist is declared a prisoner of conscience.