Amnesty International Netherlands: ‘Overjoyed’ by Ales Bialiatski’s release, will continue struggling for Mikalai Statkevich and Eduard Lobau (photo)
Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, has received a letter from the Dutch branch of Amnesty International, who organized a bright campaign in support of the Belarusian human rights defender during his imprisonment.
“We were overjoyed to hear about your release this weekend and to see you in freedom again. You have been on our minds very regularly over the past almost three years. During this time we have made sure that you stayed on the minds of the Belarusian embassy in the Netherlands, and through them on the agenda of the Belarusian authorities, as well,” says the letter.
Among other things, Amnesty International activists marked the 51st birthday of Ales Bialiatski on the steps of the Embassy and through 6,000 bank transfers [a symbolic one euro cent transfer each - Ed.] urged the authorities to drop charges of tax evasion and immediately and unconditionally release the human rights defender. The Dutch branch collected nearly 100,000 signatures for the release of Ales.
“We know that your release was not unconditional, as we would have wished. We will keep monitoring the situation in Belarus closely and our attention will be directed especially at the release of Mikalai Statkevich and Eduard Lobau, who still remain in prison,” further write the activists. “We are happy that you can continue Viasna’s struggle for human rights in Belarus, and will continue supporting you in that.”
Amnesty International recognized Mikalai Statkevich, Eduard Lobau and Ales Bialiatski as prisoners of conscience.