FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen refused in receiving Belarusian visa
Souhayr Belhassen, President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), has been denied Belarusian entry visa in Belarusian consulate in Paris.
During her planned visit to Belarus Souhayr Belhassen intended to meet with representatives of civil society, discuss the situation with the democracy in Belarus and participate in hearings of the case of denied state registration of the public human rights association Nasha Viasna, which is to start on 10 August in the Supreme Court. The issue of ‘chronic’ denial to register the human rights center Nasha Viasna as well as others NGOs, raises concerns of international human rights organizations including FIDH.
In autumn 2007 Souhayr Belhassen visited Belarus for the first time. During her stay in Minsk she sent official letters to the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry and other state bodies and asked about a meeting with leadership of those agencies. However, officials have ignored these addresses.
In an interview to the website www.charter97.org the FIDH President stated then: ‘If I am in Minsk now, it is only because the situation in Belarus is one of the most repressive in the region. I wanted to express solidarity of the FIDH with the pro-democracy movement of resistance in which the civil society of Belarus participates. We are fighting for respect to human rights in Belarus and we hope that once a trial over the perpetrators of abductions of oppositional leaders in Belarus will take place.’
Since 2004 Human Rights Center Viasna is a member of FIDH, an influential international human rights organization made up of 155 organizations worldwide. In 2007 the Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialatski was elected Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights.