Stéphane Hessel, Honorable President of the Committee of members of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), went through many challenges in his life. Being a participant of the French and English anti-Nazi Resistance, he was taken to Buchenwald where he was to have been executed by shooting, but managed to escape.After the WWII he took part in the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the majority of state parties to the UN in 1948. During his work in the UN Hessel mediated decolonization conflicts in different parts of the world and worked as a diplomat. The defense of civil rights and liberties all over the world is still one of the main priorities of his activity. Despite his age (he was born in 1917) he continues actively watching the situation of human rights defenders in many countries of the world and couldn’t stay indifferent to the arrest of Ales Bialiatski.
This website was created after the arrest of Ales Bialitaski, as an information portal about the struggle of Belarusian civil society, what has been done at the international level to end its harassment and what more can be done.
Human rights defenders and civil society in Belarus are subjected to harsh conditions. As a result, their plight has often been in the international spotlight, particularly in December 2010, when popular protest overs the 2010 Presidential elections was crushed by the State. Many people were arrested, harassed and beaten.
Arrested by the Belarusian authorities on grounds of “serious tax evasion” on August 4, 2011, Ales Bialiatski was subsequently condemned for his human rights activities. Ales Bialiatski is Vice-President of FIDH and President of the Belarus-based Human Rights Centre “Viasna”. Bialiatski’s case has become symbolic of the constant persecution that human rights defenders and representatives of civil society in Belarus as a whole are subjected to by the government.