December 2, 2011
Statement: The Danish Institute for Human Rights expresses deep regret with the ruling in the case against our friend and partner – Ales Bialiatski.
The Danish Institute for Human Rights expresses deep regret with the ruling in the case against our friend and partner – Ales Bialiatski
Since August 2011 Ales Bialiatski, the leader of Belarusian Human Rights Centre ‘Viasna’, has been under arrest on the charges of tax evasion, based on the use of private accounts in foreign countries to finance his and Viasna’s human rights activities.
The court case began on 2 November 2011 and ended on 24 November 2011 whereAles Bialiatski was sentenced to four and a half years in prison the payment of a fine, as well as the confiscation of his property, including Viasna’s offices and property registered with members of his family.
We are deeply concerned with this verdict, and convinced that the verdict is a mistake based on legislation that criminalises voluntary activities caried out on funding from outside of Belarus for organisations that has been denied registration in Belarus.
Ales Bialiatski is a well-known human rights defender, whose work is known and acknowledged beyond Belarus. Ales has fearlessly promoted and defended the rights and freedom of his fellow men. “Viasna” and DIHR have been working together since 2008, and have established a very good partnership.
From our partnership we have learned to know Ales as a very professional and pleasant person and we truly hope that our cooperation will continue for many years to come.
In November 2011, one of the prominent Danish newspapers “Politken”, acknowledged Ales’ hard work on human rights and awarded him and Viasna the Freedom Prize.
We express our deep support to Ales, his family and his colleagues and hope that Ales soon will be released and will be able to continue his important work.