Nobel Peace prize laureate's representative banned from Belarus
Human rights activist Oleg Orlov, co-chair of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, was banned from entering Belarus. He was informed of this at the airport when he tried to fly to Minsk to attend the sentencing of the Viasna human rights defenders.
“Crimes should be committed without witnesses. Today, Lukashenka's regime is preparing to commit a crime and pass a harsh and unjust sentence on my fellow human rights defenders and friends from Viasna. For what? Only for their human rights work,” Orlov commented.
The day before, March 2, the Special Rapporteur on Belarus, Anaïs Marin, remembered Ales Bialiatski during a side event on Belarus at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council:
“The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureate faces up to 12 years in prison. For what? For his tireless work as a human rights defender, including documenting state abuses during the brutal crackdown on the 2020 protests, and for supporting victims and their relatives, like his many colleagues behind bars.
It is of great concern that the authorities are criminalizing human rights work at a time when the role of human rights defenders is most needed.”
Memorial, Ales Bialiatski and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties were jointly awarded the 2022 Peace Prize for their struggle for peace and democracy. The committee praised their work to promote the right to criticize power and protect the fundamental rights of citizens, as well as their outstanding efforts to document war crimes, human rights violations, and abuses of power.