Sicily hears truth about human rights in Belarus
Lawyer Pavel Sapelka, Ales Bialiatski’s wife Natallia Pinchuk and Amnesty International’s expert on Belarus Heather McGill met with human rights activists and the media in Italy.
In July 2012, after the adoption of the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, which documented a drastic deterioration of human rights in Belarus since December 2010, the UN Human Rights Committee voted to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Belarus.
This fact confirmed the gravity of the human rights situation among the Belarusian citizens, but was no surprise for the activists of Amnesty International’s Italian office, which is located in Palermo and has been cooperating with Belarus for many years.
During the years of activity, the Italian representatives of Amnesty International researched and raised their awareness of what is going on in Belarus with those who stubbornly defend freedom of expression and freedom to criticize the work of their government.
It is this curiosity that prompted them to invite to Italy two activists of the Human Rights Center "Viasna": Ales Bialiatski, a prisoner of conscience and the founder of the organization, member of Amnesty International and the famous lawyer Pavel Sapelka.
The meeting, which took place on October 12 at Amnesty International’s office in Palermo (Sicily) featured evidence by Ales Bialiatski's wife Natallia Pinchuk and Pavel Sapelka, as well as comments from Amnesty International’s expert on Belarus Heather McGill about the human rights situation prevailing in recent years in Belarus.
The visit of representatives of the Belarusian human rights movement was covered by the Italian press: their stories about the human rights situation in our country were voiced on TV and in newspapers.
According to Italian media