CoE Secretary General condemns prison sentence against Belarus human rights defender

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland stated :

I strongly condemn the harsh prison sentence pronounced today against human rights defender Ales Bialiatski for alleged tax evasion. Mr Bialiatski’s treatment is a clear example of the authorities’ persistent harassment of the work of civil society organisations especially in the wake of the 19 December 2010 presidential elections. He must be set free unconditionally, as all the other political prisoners, and allowed to carry on his work protecting and upholding human rights in Belarus, without pressure upon either him or the Viasna NGO.

Strasbourg, 24.11.2011


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