Tatsiana Reviaka speaks about the situation of human rights defenders at the 7th Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders
Ms. Reviaka spoke
at the 7th Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders at the penal
dedicated to testimonies of human rights activists about hte
conditions of work around the world.
In her speech she noted that the human rights movement in Belarus is relatively young, but makes a story of an incessant prosecution, trials, dismissals, arrests, imprisonment, forced displacement in exile and denigration. “To be a human rights activist in Belarus is the choice for which people often have to pay much”, stated Tatsiana Reviaka.
The human rights activist also dwelt on the criminal prosecution of the chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Ales Bialiatski, emphasizing that in such a way the Belarusian authorities recognize the activity and public influence of human rights defenders. “As Ales himself says, “Now I am just here, where a human rights activist should be in such a nasty situation,”” quoted Tatsiana Reviaka. She also reminded about the story of the Human Rights Center " Viasna". At the end of October there will turn ten years since its liquidation by the authorities. In this connection, Ms. Reviaka said: " Of course, working in the illegal status greatly limits our abilities. After the UN Human Rights Committee recognized the liquidation of the organization as a violation of the right to association, we undertook several registration attempt, but to no avail. The authorities have no wish to have stronger human rights movement, they also demonstrate a total disregard of their obligations under and use this situation with the aim to discredit us."
“The years 2010 and 2011 were the most difficult ones for all Belarusian human rights defenders. During this time, five searches were conducted only in our office, all computer equipment was confiscated several times, searches were conducted in the apartments of our colleagues all over the country. During the last decade, we lived through interrogations, summons to the KGB and financial audits (including among the members of our families), as well as the confiscation of our office. However, the hope that the human rights defenders will get frightened, will get silent and stop their activities was unjustified. Today I have the honor to speak about this and thank all my colleagues who have remained faithful to their convictions and work," said the member of the Council of the HRC “Viasna”.
At the end of her speech Tatsiana Reviaka expressed solidarity and support to the colleagues who are kept in jail for their professional activities. She thanked the colleagues from all over the world for the support received by the Belarusian human rights defenders.
Bear in mind that on 9-11 October the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Front Line Defenders holds the 7th Dublin platform, which is attended by 145 human rights activists from 95 countries of the world. In particular, the conference is attended by human rights defenders from Afghanistan, Syria and Congo, where human rights defenders work in areas of armed conflicts, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Cameroon, Pakistan and other countries known by murders of human rights defenders, attempts on their life and other severe kinds of persecution. As said at the opening of the event by the Executive Director of Front Line Defenders, Mary Lolar, 48 human rights defenders were killed in the world over the past year.
Belarus is represented at the 7th Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders by the journalist Irina Khalip, the coordinator of the Office on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Siarhei Drazdouski and the member of the Council of the HRC “Viasna”, president of the Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius Tatsiana Reviaka.