State versus human rights defenders – unfair play
In this briefing paper, Civil Rights Defenders examines the situation of human rights defenders in Belarus and the difficulties they face under the authoritarian rule of President Alexander Lukashenka.
This paper highlights trends in repressions against human rights defenders during 2012-2013. It was prepared ahead of Defenders’ Days, an annual conference in Stockholm for human rights defenders who come from some of the world’s most repressive countries and regions. Defenders’ Days seeks to advocate for international recognition of human rights defenders at risk, to increase understanding of their vital work, and to create a forum for capacity building and networking.
As part of this effort Civil Rights Defenders hands out an annual award to a prominent human rights defender. In 2014 the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award was given to Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned leader of the Belarusian Human Rights Centre Viasna.