The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic expresses its deepest concern over the yesterday’s arrest of Aliaksandr Bialiatski, President of Human Rights Center Viasna and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights. This action is particularly worrying given the context of recent steps taken by the Belarusian government to restrict the freedom of assembly and continuous harassment of civic activists.
The Czech Republic therefore calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Bialiatski and urges Belarusian authorities to stop all kinds of repression against him, his organization and human rights activists in general. The Czech Republic appreciates the unwavering efforts of Mr. Bialiatski and Human Rights Center Viasna for promotion of human rights in Belarus. Earlier this year the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karel Schwarzenberg, sent a personal letter of support to Mr. Bialiatski. Aliaksiandr Bialiatski received the Homo Homini prize awarded by the Czech NGO People in Need in 2005 and has been nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Price.