Ales Bialiatski: ‘It is prohibited to distribute Declaration of Human Rights in the country that signed it’
Vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights comments on the arrests in Minsk at 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclamation.
‘It is an unpleasant and disappointing fact, that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is banned for distribution in the country that signed it,’ Ales Bialiatski, vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights, told in an interview to the Charter’97 press center.
On 10 December human rights activists who distributed the Declaration of Human Rights on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its proclamation, were arrested on Independence Avenue of Minsk. In total, more than 20 people including youth activists were detained. Among the detainees there were Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich, Aleh Matskevich, Maryna Statkevich, and Siarhei Sys.
‘We were handing around texts of the Declaration of Human Rights and leaflets about violations of human rights in Belarus. Unfortunately, we failed to hold an action according to our plan. We were detained by policemen in mufti and guarded to Tsentralny district police department where he spent three hours. They put down our personal data and then released us without any explanations,’ Ales Bialiatski said.
The police officers didn’t introduce themselves though they must show their identity documents by law. The human rights activists were released. No reports were drawn up. Physical force was used against them during the detention.
‘I can’t say exactly who detained us because they were in mufti. The police officers didn’t introduce themselves, though we asked them to. They were rude, shoved the girls,’ Ales Bialiatski added.
According to him, more than 30 human rights defenders and youth activists took part in the rally. A great number of police and riot police can be seen in the center of Minsk today. They repress all attempts to hold street action on the Human Rights Day.
On 10 December human rights activists of Hrodna organized a street action dedicated to the 60th anniversary of proclamation of the Declaration of Human Rights. Riot police detained Aleh Kalinkou, Uladzimir Khilmanovich, Yan Roman, Viktar Sazonau, and other participants of the action.’