November 24, 2011 – DELEGATION FOR RELATIONS WITH BELARUS
Statement by Mr Jacek PROTASIEWICZ, Chairman of the Delegation on the sentence of Ales Bialiatski Brussels.
” In my capacity as Chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with Belarus I strongly condemn the sentence of four and a half years of prison served to Ales Bialiatski, the prominent Belarusian human rights defender, Chairman of the human rights organization “Viasna” and Vice-President of FIDH.
I consider such a verdict, along with his initial detention, prosecution and the trial process, as well as all the actions of the Belarusian authorities against his colleagues and the “Viasna” organisation as unfair, groundless and unjustified.
There is no doubt left that such actions constitute an obvious attempt of the Belarusian authorities to intentionally neutralise all the post-2010 election activities of human rights defenders in the country. These criminal prosecutions are, hence, politically motivated and contradict all international standards and agreements of which Belarus is a signatory.
I demand that the Belarusian authorities release immediately and unconditionally of Ales Bialiatski along with all the other political prisoners. All the charges against him and his collaborator Valyantsin Stefanovich must be withdrawn and their civil rights should be fully restored. I demand that the Belarusian authorities immediately put an end to all human rights violations in Belarus, stop repression of Belarusian civil society and in particular of human rights defenders, and let them exercise their duties freely as it has been practiced in every democratic state in the world“.