November 24, 2011 – Markus Löning, the Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner, issued the following statement :
” I condemn the guilty verdict against Ales Bialiatski in the strongest possible terms and call for his immediate release. It is easy to see that the Belarusian authorities are trying here to silence a committed human rights activist by trying him on trumped-up charges. There can be no justification for this cowardly move. I call for the release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners in Belarus and an end to the repression against opposition NGOs and their activists.”
Ales Bialiatski heads the human rights organization Viasna and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011. Viasna is one of the most important human rights organizations in Belarus. Since the beginning of the recent wave of repression, the centre has made a name for itself by supporting political prisoners and their families. Viasna was established in 1996 and officially registered in 1999. Its registration was subsequently revoked in 2003. Since then, all the organization’s efforts to reregister have failed.