Statement of the FIDH President, Souhayr Belhassen, on the occasion of Ales Bialiatski birthday

September 25 – the birthday of Ales Bialiatski, the Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the head of the Human Rights center Viasna, a member organization of FIDH in Belarus, who has been held in detention in Minsk since August 4, 2011.

The President of FIDH, Souhayr Belhassen, wished Ales a happy birthday on behalf of all of the member organizations of the Federation, and voiced her confidence that Ales will soon be freed. “We are doing everything possible, so that we can meet with you soon and celebrate your freedom all together”, – she wrote in an accompanying letter. Many of the members of the Federation sent their wishes and cards of support to Ales, from various countries all over the world, as well as colleagues from the International Secretariat, located in Paris.

To make the show of solidarity of the human rights defenders from all over the world more unified, FIDH created a tri-lingual site, which will frequently post news about Ales, as well as official declarations of international organizations in connection to his case, and information about actions of support and solidarity publicizing the situation in Belarus…

“We want to give our good friend and colleague Ales his dues, and his personal qualities – his bravery, kindness, decisiveness and tirelessness. We gathered videos of his presentations and photos, which are but a small token of his activity over the course of the past seven years, that we have had the joy and honor of working with him,” – stated Souhayr Belhassen. – The Vice-President of FIDH, Ales Bialiatski, is not only an outstanding human rights defender in Belarus, but is also a figure of regional and international importance.

Georgia 2008, right after the war with Russia, the south of Kirgizstan, still wrapped in the violence and fires June 2010, the revolutionary Tunis 2011… Ales was always there, where ever people were waiting for his participation and his assistance, where his experience and dedication supplied both strength and hope. Today, that strength and hope are what Ales himself needs, and I wish with all my heart good health and strength to our dear friend, and most importantly – freedom as soon as possible. I am convinced that we still have many interesting and important trips all over the world ahead of us with him.”



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