4 August – International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society of Belarus
organizations around the world take part in the International Day of
Solidarity with Belarusian civil society for the second year already.
It is celebrated on 4 August, the anniversary of the detention of the
Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski.
The action is intended to show solidarity with the civil society in Belarus and moral support to human rights defenders and civil society activists who continue to work in the country.
"We will celebrate this day every year, until the situation of the civil society in Belarus changes so that people won't be imprisoned for their human rights activities and the fundamental freedoms: freedom of expression, of assembly and of associations will be respected," says the Manifesto of the Day of Solidarity.
Last year, the activities within the framework of the Solidarity Day were held in more than 18 countries. This year, the organizers offer people around the world to send postcards and letters with words of support to Belarusian political prisoners, human rights defenders and activists and publish materials and hold informational actions concerning the situation in Belarus. According to the project coordinator Lada Burdachova, this year such actions will take place in the United States, Great Britain, Poland, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and some other countries.
A detailed list of possible actions can be found here: http://by.soli-day.org/node/8
The organizers offer people from different countries to support the Solidarity Day by telling about what is happening in Belarus on 4 August, and about the people who offer an alternative to the present situation – Belarus without the death penalty, no illegal detentions and militarized consciousness, open to the outside world, with a wide space of freedom and solidarity."
"We are convinced that the situation in Belarus is a landmark not only for Europe and Central Asia, but also for many other countries, where activists are harassed, and the authorities feel uncontrollable and unpunished," state the organizers of the action.
Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He was arrested on 4 August 2011 and is currently serving a prison sentence (4.5 years) for tax evasion. In fact, the means from which Ales allegedly not paying taxes, was used for advocacy and support to victims of political repression in Belarus.
According to human rights organizations, there are 12 political prisoners in Belarus nowadays. None of the recent elections in the country were found to be free; Belarus is also accused of serious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms of its citizens.
In the international organizing committee of the action includes the International Committee of the Control over the human rights situation in Belarus, the Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine), the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland), Moscow Helsinki Group (Russia), International Youth Human Rights Movement, "Index on Censorship" (Great Britain ) and Belarusian Human Rights House (Lithuania).
More information about the campaign can be found at the website (http://by.soli-day.org), as well as at the pages in social networks:
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/groups/368867776513480/
VKontakte - http://vk.com/bysoliday