Civil Rights Defenders: Protest against the treatment of Ales Bialiatski in prison
Ales Bialiatski has received reprimands in prison as well as being subjected to restrictive measures. Civil Rights Defenders is deeply concerned for Ales Bialiatski’s situation and urges the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenka to immediately and unconditionally release the Belarusian human rights defender, in an open letter sent on Thursday.
Despite international protests and demands for his release, Ales Bialiatski, Head of the Human Rights Center Viasna, was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on November 24, 2011. The criminal case against, and imprisonment of, Ales Bialiatski is directly connected to his human rights work.
Open letter to Alexander Lukashenka, the President of Belarus
I am writing to you on behalf of Civil Rights Defenders in order to protest against the treatment of the imprisoned human rights defenders Ales Bialiatski.
We have received information that Ales Bialiatski, Head of Human Rights Center Viasna, has received reprimands in prison as well as extra duty. Furthermore, he is also subject to restrictions concerning meeting times, prison wage and food packages. Civil Rights Defenders is seriously concerned about this information on increased pressure on part of the prison administration against Ales Bialiatski.
We see the criminal case against, and imprisonment of, Ales Bialiatski as a direct result of his legitimate activities in defence of human rights in Belarus and as yet another example of the harassment of human rights defenders in Belarus.
We urge you to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Ales Bialiatski. We furthermore urge you to ensure that Belarusian authorities end any kind of harassment of Ales Bialiatski as well as withdraw the restrictive measures against him.
Executive Director Civil Rights Defenders