Two months have passed since the arrest of Ales Bialiatski

On 4 October, there turns two months since the detention of the well-known Belarusian human rights activist, vice-president of the International Federation of Human Rights Ales Bialiatski.

As stated to BelaPAN by human rights activist Valiantsin Stefanovich, Bialiatski feels alright in custody. “Lattes from him come with a delay. However, last week he familiarized with the materials of his case, and the counsel did not tell us that he was experiencing some health problems or something else,” – said Stefanovich.

According to Stefanovich, Bialiatski’s case has been passed to the procuracy, and then will be passed to court. “There are some moments that can influence the change of restraint to Bialiatski. The matter is that after the court receives the case, the power to decide the question of restraint will belong to the judge, not to the investigation. Taking into account the fact that Bialiatski won’t be able to influence the course of the investigation after its end, and that thousands of people signed personal guarantees for him, the court can release him under a written undertaking not to leave. I hope it will be so,” said Valiantsin.

He also noted that the investigation did not allow Bialiatski to meet with his wife during his arrest. “After the trial, the issue of short- and long-term meetings will be also considered by the judge. Maybe the judge will allow the meetings,” – suggested Stefanovich.

He stressed that international human rights organizations and colleagues consider the criminal prosecution of Ales Bialiatski solely as retaliation for his human rights activities. “All the money he received from various funds was spent to help victims of political repression. The funds received relevant reports on the costs incurred and there are no claims from them. Therefore, we insist that Bialiatski is not guilty and demand his immediate release,” said Stefanovich.

Ales Bialiatski has been kept under arrest since 4 August. He is charged under part 2 of Article 243 of the Criminal Code (concealment of income on a large scale). The reason for the prosecution of human rights defender is the information about his foreign bank accounts which was transferred to the Belarusian authorities by the justice ministries of Lithuania in Poland.

The authorities of these countries publicly apologized to Bialiatski and his family and suspended contacts with Belarus within the framework of treaties on legal assistance.

International human rights organizations, the EU leadership, the United States and other democratic countries demand the release of Ales Bialiatski.

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