Kirghiz human rights defenders remind Belarusian diplomats about Ales Bialiatski’s case
Talekan Ismailova, the head of the human rights
center “Citizens against Corruption” told about the impressions of Kirghiz human rights defenders who tried to
attend the official diplomatic on the occasion of the celebration of the
official Independence Day by Belarus.
The human rights defenders demanded an unconditional and immediate release of the
head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and deputy-head of the International
Federation for Human Rights Ales Bialiatski.
“On 4 July an official reception dated to the Independence Day of Belarus took place in the dearest restaurant of Bishkek, “Toy Kana”.
My colleagues and I came there to express our protest, and many diplomats looked at us with surprised. They were dressed in festive clothes and they enjoyed being able to talk to one another, listen to music and try delicatessen.
Some of them stopped, recognizing us and asked about details of our colleague Ales Bialiatski’s case. We were surprised by Bishkek’s mayor Isa Amurkulov – he embraced us with a wide smile and asked: “Do you have one more photo of Ales, so that he could stand near us?”
It was really pleasing to see something changing for the better, at least among some of the officials…
However, the police kept their duty as usual, providing the security of the event, and didn’t let us in. The policemen were polite and behaved correctly, but said that they could lose their job if they let us in, as far as the Embassy of Belarus asked them to provide security…
We were very surprised by a high official from the Office of the Supreme Commissioner on Human Rights of the UN, Armen Arutyunyan. On seeing us he just said: “I see you are always at work…”, after which he quickly got into a car with diplomatic number plates and drove away… I just managed to say: “But it’s the UN mandate to protect rights of human rights defenders!”
That’s how the Day of Independence (or dependence) of Belarus went in Bishkek. While returning home, young lawyers discussed whether there’s the mandate of the protection of human rights defenders at the UN at all, whether the Declaration is still alive or is just an instrument of greater politics?”
We can add that Ales Bialiatski got acquainted with his colleague from Kirghizstan during his activities within the framework of the International Federation of Human Rights. In particular, they worked in Bishkek in 2010, when Ales Bialiatski visited Kirghizstan as a member of a FIDH research mission following the inter-ethnic conflict in the south of the country, and in December of the same year, when the report on the mission’s results was presented in Bishkek.