Viasna Chair Ales Bialatski Summoned to Prosecutor’s Office
Yesterday, 29 March, chairperson of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Ales Bialatski was summoned to the Prosecutor’s General Office. Prosecutor Novikaw dealing with the issues of NGOs, political parties, religious organizations and mass media, desired to have an unofficial ?#152;conversation’ with Bialatski.
The conversation was short, nothing was recorded. The prosecutor asked several questions about Bialatski’s activity in non-governmental sector: what NGOs he is a member of, whether he is linked to the Assembly of Democratic NGOs and to its magazine. Prosecutor Novikaw was especially interested how often Bialatski traveled abroad and what money he is living on.
Bialatski answered that according to Art 27 of the Constitution he has the right not to provide information which can be used against him. The prosecutor replied that he still might find a string he would be able to pull and their conversation would continue.
Recently the prosecutor called several people who belong to the editorial board of the Assembly magazine and interrogated them about the magazine. In Bialatski’s case the prosecutor asked questions about much broader circle of issues, including personal life, undoubtedly exceeding his power.
Bialatski thinks the main reason for the conversation which took place is general pressure on NGOs which recently has become a lot stronger.