Kyrgyz Protesters Demand Release of Belarusian Human Rights Activist

BISHKEK — A dozen Kyrgyz activists have picketed the Belarusian Embassy in Bishkek to demand the immediate release from a Minsk jail of human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service reports.

Bialiatski, the chairman of the Viasna (Spring) human rights organization, was arrested on August 4 and later charged with tax evasion.

His colleagues and supporters say the case against him is politically motivated.

Bialiatski had been circulating via online social networks reports on the Belarusian authorities’ crackdown on peaceful protests.

The protest action in Bishkek was organized by the Bishkek-based NGO Citizens against Corruption, which is led by Tolekan Ismailova.

Ismailova told RFE/RL that Byalyatski visited Kyrgyzstan twice and contributed to the democratic changes that have taken place there. She said the purpose of the demonstration is to show her NGO’s solidarity with and support for Bialiatski.

August 17, 2011

RFE/RL

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