Viasna hopes to move to new office in March
15:57, — Politics
Viasna human rights centre, which was closed by the authorities, is expected to move to a new office in March.
As BelaPAN news agency learnt from human rights activist Valyantin Stefanovich, the organisation planned to start working in a new office yet in February, but the process took a longer time. УWe hope to hold an open day in March and see everybody,Ф Stafanovich says. УThe process turned out to be more difficult than we expected. We thought everything would be solved in February, but it didn't. The delay is caused by adapting the office to work. It is in a rather bad condition unsuitable for living and working.Ф
He stressed that Viasna staff didn't stopped working in the absence of the office. УOf course, the work was adjusted, because we have certain technical problems,Ф Stafenovich added. УThe main thing is that we cannot work together as we got used to. Team members get used to collaborative work, but some people have to work at home now. Of course, it affects the activity of the organisation in some way.Ф
Some analytical reports on results of 2012 will be presented at the opening ceremony. УFirstly, it will be summary of our activity in the past year and secondly, it will be a report on the Belarusian penitentiary system,Ф Stefanovich said.
He said a report on the situation of political prisoners in Belarus would soon be released. The human rights activists prepared it in cooperation with the International Federation for Human Rights.
УIn the report, we accumulated all information about sanctions applied to political prisoners. It proves that despite the authorities' claims, the attitude towards them differs from that towards ordinary inmates. They face discriminatory treatment,Ф Stefanovich said.
The number one task is to Уrelease the political prisoners, including Viasna head Ales ByalyatskiФ, he says.
On November 26, 2012, Viasna staff had to move out of the office they had occupied for 12 years. The office was located in a flat belonging to Viasna leader Ales Byalyatski. He was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison and confiscation of property for alleged tax evasion.