25 November 2015, Wednesday, 11:12

Ales Bialiatski turning 51


The political prisoner is having his birthday in a penal colony.

A famous Belarusian human rights activist, the vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the head of the human rights center Viasna, banned by the authorities, Ales Bialiatski is turning 51 today.

We would remind that the human rights activist was detained in Minsk in the evening on 4 August 2011. In the same evening his apartment, summer house and Viasna’s office were searched. On 12 August Bialiatski was charged with violating part 2 of the article 243 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion in an especially large amount). The reason for the criminal charges was the information about the human rights activist’s accounts in a Lithuanian and Polish banks, passed to Belarusian authorities by the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania and the Prosecutor General’s office of Poland in the framework of the legal assistance agreements concluded with Belarus.

On his foreign accounts Bialiatski received money from international organizations for helping repressed Belarusian citizens and their families.

In Vilnius and Warsaw they claimed that Minsk abused the mechanism of international legal assistance for persecuting the human rights activist. Lithuania and Poland apologized to Bialiatski and his relatives and suspended the legal assistance agreements concluded with Belarus. Several officials of the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice and Polish Prosecutor General’s office lost their positions.

On 24 November 2011 Bialiatski was sentenced to 4.5 years in high security prison and property confiscation.

Respected international human rights organizations, the leadership of the European Union, the USA and many other countries all demanded that official Minsk released Ales Bialiatski.

Many FIDH members from different countries addressed the Belarusian human rights activist with the congratulations and the word of support, so did the employees of the organization’s International Secretariat in Paris.

In order to support Ales Bialiatski, you can send him a letter or a postcard to the following address: 213800, Babrujsk, vul. Sikorskaha 1, penal colony 2.

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