Ales Bialiatski: ‘Authorities fear the international resonance of the trial results’
Ales Bialiatski, head of Nasha Viasna human rights center commented on ban to enter Belarus to President of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) Souhayr Belhassen.
During her planned visit to Belarus Souhayr Belhassen intended to meet with representatives of the 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.
Ales Bialiatski said in an interview to the Charter’97 press center that the authorities continued isolating the Belarusian society.
‘The reason of banning entry to Belarus for Souhayr Belhassen is obvious to me’, he said. ‘Hearing of the case on non-registration of Nasha Viasna human rights group in the Supreme Court is scheduled for 10 August. Souhayr Belhassen planned to attend the hearing. Taking into account the fact that I am the FIDH vice president, they authorities feared international publicity of this judicial process.’
Ales Bialiatski reminds that the International Federation of Human Rights and Souhayr Belhassen in particular have repeatedly criticized the Belarusian authorities for disrespect for human rights in the country.
‘Souhayr Belhassen harshly criticized the human rights situation in Belarus’, the human rights activist says. ‘She expressed her position to the Belarusian authorities several times. FIDH prepared and continues preparing reports on violation of human rights in our country. The human rights organization has recently worked out a press release on Belarusian political prisoners. FIDH also wrote about the trial over participant of the Process of 14 Artsiom Dubski. The Belarusian authorities don’t like this. The experience shows that the authorities agree only on economic relations with the EU. They purposefully continue to hinder development of NGOs and their dialogue with Europe. This demonstrates that the authorities don’t want to respect human rights in the country. Thus, they are not ready for full cooperation with the European Union.’
Ales Bialiatski also reminded that the refusal to grant visa to Souhayr Belhassen was not the first case when the Belarusian authorities don’t allow EU representatives criticizing the regime in Belarus. Danish human rights Jens-Kristian Lütken was detain in a Minsk airport late in July. The human rights activist who had an acting Belarusian visa, spent a night in a closed room in the airport with 4 unknown persons, and on 24 July he was given back the passport with a stamp with bans entry into the country. Lütken told mass media he hadn’t been allowed in Minsk on political motives.