Statement of Human Rights Center Viasna
August 2011 Ales Bialiatski, Chair of the Human Rights Center Viasna,
vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights
(FIDH), was detained within the framework of a criminal case
instigated under Article 243, part 2 of the Criminal Code of the
Republic of Belarus, “concealment of profits on an especially large
scale”. This article envisages up to 7 years of imprisonment with
the confiscation of property.
The arrest of the human rights defender was preceded by searches at his home, summer residence and at the office of the Human Rights Center Viasna.
We unequivocally consider the criminal case against Ales Bialiatski as lynching and revenge for his longstanding human rights activity, and also as an attempt to destroy the Human Rights Center Viasna and intimidate the whole human rights movement of Belarus.
The Human Rights Center Viasna:
1. Demands to immediately release Ales Bialiatski and stop the criminal persecution towards him.
2. States the intention to continue its work as our organization consists of the people who are united by the faith in the importance of their mission on the protection of rights and liberties of Belarusian citizens.
3. Expresses regret that state organs of the Lithuanian Republic created favorable conditions for the instigation of the criminal case against Ales Bialiatski.
4. Calls on the international community to apply all possible means of political and legal pressure on the Belarusian authorities with the aim of the release of Ales Bialiatski and all prisoners of conscience.
The Human Rights Center Viasna states that repressive actions of the Belarusian authorities lead to further isolation of the country and put Belarus in danger of possible economic sanctions, which will be fault only of the Belarusian authorities.
We express our gratitude to all our colleagues, human rights activists, who express support to Ales Bialiatski and our organization.