Valiantsin Stefanovich: “There are various legal means to release political prisoners”
“Any interference with activities of judges in their administration of justice is inadmissible and is subject to prosecution under the law,” says a reply by the Presidential Administration issued following the petition for the release of Viasna leader Ales Bialiatski ahead of 4 August.
Stanislau Buko, head of the Administration’s public appeals department, says that “under the Constitution, the judicial power in the Republic of Belarus is administered by courts. In administration of justice, judges are independent when taking decisions and should only obey the law. Other state organs and officials do not possess such powers”.
In his comments on the roundabout reply by the Presidential Administration, vice-chairman of the Human Rights center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich says that the Belarusian legislation has other legal instruments that could help release political prisoners. “We have already witnessed this before – in 2008 and 2011, when Lukashenka ordered to release political prisoners. Therefore, in our petition we demanded the release of Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners. And we do not care what legal means could be used for this sake,” says Mr. Stefanovich.