We urge the Belarusian authorities to release all political prisoners and to initiate systemic changes aimed at ensuring exercisable human rights
Statement by the Human Rights Center “Viasna”
On June 21, Ales Bialiatski, Chairman of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), was released early from the Babruisk penal colony under the Law “On Amnesty”.
The Human Rights Center “Viasna” welcomes the release of the organization’s chairman, considering it as a manifestation of the political will of the country’s leadership and a positive step towards improving the human rights situation in the country.
However, the Human Rights Center “Viasna” stresses that:
human rights violations in Belarus are of systemic and systematic nature, the exercise of civil and political, social and economic rights, which are guaranteed by the Constitution and international standards of human rights, is extremely restricted, the country lacks an independent judiciary, and dissidents are subjected to pressure, intimidation and prosecution. Political prisoners continue to be held in the country’s prisons.
Considering this, the Human Rights Center “Viasna” calls on the authorities of Belarus to:
take necessary steps to release and rehabilitate the political prisoners who are still behind bars: Mikalai Statkevich, Eduard Lobau, Ihar Alinevich, Mikalai Dziadok, Vasil Parfiankou, Yauhen Vaskovich and Artsiom Prakapenka;
refrain from the practice of persecution of representatives of the country’s civil society and political opposition in connection with their legitimate and constitutional activities for the sake of creating a climate of trust in the society;
take measures aimed at ensuring the implementation of exercisable human rights, both at the level of legislation and law enforcement practice.
June 25, 2014