December 15, 2011 – Belarusian human rights defenders launched a special campaign to collect the money for paying the “damage, done by the crime” which had been allegedly committed by Ales Bialiatski. It was stated at a special press-conference.The head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee Aleh Hulak, the deputy head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich, the head of the Belarusian Association of Journalists Zhanna Litvina, the head of the movement “For Freedom!” Aliaksandr Milinkevich and the head of the Assembly of NGOs Siarhei Matskevich took part in the conference. According to the court verdict to Bialiatski, the total sum of the damage is 757,526,717 (about $90,000). Human rights defenders especially emphasized the fact that Ales Bialiatski pleaded innocent and the Belarusian and international human rights community considered the verdict to him as politically motivated.
As stated by Aliaksandr Milinkevich, “it is very dangerous when we apply to foreign countries each time when we have to protect our rights, and hope to receive support. Such support is important and necessary, but the most important thing is mutual support inside the country. We have such examples. Such solidarity manifested most clearly in 2010 – there hasn’t been such a wave before. I call all honest people to show this solidarity,” stated the leader of the movement “For Freedom!”.The head of the Assembly of NGOs Siarhei Matskevich, in his turn, stated: “We aim this campaign at the establishment of a solidary Belarusian society, which would be able to release not only Bialiatski, but also other political prisoners and move Belarus towards a better future”. An appropriate bank account was opened in Belarus within the framework of the campaign. Financial means can be transferred to it only by Belarusian citizens.