Ales Bialiatski reelected FIDH Vice President
Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, has been reelected Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights. The vote was held today as part of the 38th FIDH Congress hosted by Istanbul.
In 2007, Ales Bialiatski became the first FIDH Vice President from Eastern Europe, and was reelected for a second term in 2010.
This year, the prominent Belarusian human rights defender received 76 votes of 90 voting delegates, says Valiantsin Stefanovich, Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, who represents Belarus at the Congress.
Ales Bialiatski’s candidacy was presented by FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen.
"From Armenia to Kazakhstan, from Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan, in Georgia and in Russia, he spent dozens of research missions and solidarity visits. Judicial observation, assistance to the families of prisoners, investigating massive crimes... His experience has been and remains a critical component of the FIDH strategy in the region. But Ales Bialiatski is also active outside the region in sharing his experiences and travelling for solidarity with human rights defenders in Egypt, Cuba, and Tunisia. Many of you have seen him in action on these trips, and were captured by his human qualities and the strength of his convictions. Since August 4, 2011 Ales has been one of the prisoners, the rights of whom he has always protected together with his colleagues... Should we join the campaign of his isolation launched by the Belarusian regime, which seeks to ensure that the activities of Ales are interrupted? We must show the Lukashenka regime that Ales is still one of us, and very soon he will be with us and will continue to work as Vice President of the Federation,” said Ms. Belhassen in her speech.
“On behalf of all of us I thanked the FIDH members for their support for Ales Bialiatski and expressed hope that he will soon join the FIDH family to continue fighting for justice around the world,” said Valiantsin Stefanovich.
Karim Lahidji, Iranian lawyer, was elected President of FIDH. He succeeds to Souhayr Belhassen who headed the Federation for six years. Souhayr Belhassen was appointed Honorary President of FIDH.
“It is an immense honor to have been elected President of FIDH. My first message is to all the human rights defenders who are arbitrarily detained, wherever they are in the world. We will continue endlessly to call for their immediate, unconditional release. My thoughts turn especially to my colleagues and friends Ales Bialiatski, in prison in Belarus, and Nabeel Rajab, detained in Bahrain”, said Karim Lahidji.
The 38th FIDH Congress was held from 23 to 27 May in Istanbul, Turkey. The global forum focused on “Political Transitions from a Human Rights Perspective: Experiences and Challenges” and was attended by representatives of more than 200 NGOs from 130 countries. Over the time, the Congress adopted 26 resolutions on, inter alia, Mali, Syria, Malaysia, Cuba, Russia, and Turkey. On the occasion of its 38th Congress FIDH increased its membership from 164 to 178 leagues.