Minister Radoslaw Sikorski presented the award to Mr. Bialiatski’s wife, Natallya Pinchuk, in Warsaw on December 12. This is a special award of the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs founded for human rights defenders.Mr. Sikorski described the award as a token of support for the Belarusian pro-democratic community and the recognition of Mr. Bialiatski’s work. The Polish minister expressed certainty that democratic changes may happen in Belarus. “The Belarusians expressed their will a year ago in Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk, where a demonstration against the false results of the presidential election took place,” he was quoted as saying. Mrs. Pinchuk expressed gratitude to Warsaw for its recognition and support: “This award is a sign of respect for Ales, a sign of the recognition of his considerable contribution to the development of the human rights movement”.
This website was created after the arrest of Ales Bialitaski, as an information portal about the struggle of Belarusian civil society, what has been done at the international level to end its harassment and what more can be done.
Human rights defenders and civil society in Belarus are subjected to harsh conditions. As a result, their plight has often been in the international spotlight, particularly in December 2010, when popular protest overs the 2010 Presidential elections was crushed by the State. Many people were arrested, harassed and beaten.
Arrested by the Belarusian authorities on grounds of “serious tax evasion” on August 4, 2011, Ales Bialiatski was subsequently condemned for his human rights activities. Ales Bialiatski is Vice-President of FIDH and President of the Belarus-based Human Rights Centre “Viasna”. Bialiatski’s case has become symbolic of the constant persecution that human rights defenders and representatives of civil society in Belarus as a whole are subjected to by the government.