PRESS RELEASE – THE OBSERVATORY
Paris-Geneva, April 19, 2012.
On April 2, 2012, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), submitted the case of Mr. Ales Bialiatski to the United Nations (UN) Working group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).
Mr. Ales Bialiatski is the Vice President of FIDH and the President of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, in Belarus.
He was arrested on August 4, 2011, and sentenced to 4 years and a half imprisonment under fabricated charges of “tax evasion on an especially large scale” in November 2011, following a blatantly unfair trial which clearly showed the politically-motivated character of the prosecution.
“We reiterate our strong condemnation of the ongoing arbitrary detention of Ales Bialiatski, which was staged by the Belarusian authorities to silence his human rights activities and those of his organisation, Viasna. We ask the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to confirm the arbitrariness of the detention requiring his immediate and unconditional release”, OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock said today.
“This communication to the WGAD is in line with our efforts of international mobilisation to obtain the release of our Vice President, whose detention has already been denounced by a large number of international organisations and State representatives over the past months” FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen added.
The Observatory urges Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Bialiatski and to conform with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Republic of Belarus.