In the middle of April human rights defender Anastasiya Loika sent two letters of A4 format to Ales Bialiatski, the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” who is serving a prison term in corrective colony n°2 in Babruisk.The envelopes contained postcards, blank envelopes, post stamps and the Criminal-Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus. As she found out later, these letters weren’t received by Mr. Bialiatski. As far as there were no prohibited items in the envelopes, Anastasiya Loika considered it as an arbitrary limitation of Bialiatski’s right to correspondence. She filed an appropriate appeal with the Mahiliou regioinal bureau of the penal department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Copies of the appeal were also sent to the Mahiliou regional procuracy and the civil supervisory commission at the main justice department of the Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee. Anastasiya Loika requests holding a check-up on the fact of censorship of Bialiatski’s correspondence at correctional colony n°2 in Babruisk and informing her about the results.
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.