French President and Human Rights Defenders discussed the situation of Ales Bialiatski

On August 24, 2012, Souhayr Belhassen, president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), her predecessor and current honorary president of FIDH Sidiki Kaba, who is a Senegalese lawyer, and FIDH executive director Antoine Bernard had an audience with French president Francois Hollande.

In addition to raising international policy issues closely tied to France’s active foreign policy (like the situations in Syria, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of Congo), the FIDH representatives also brought up the situations of two members of the FIDH International Board–FIDH vice-president Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison in Belarus, and FIDH secretary general Nabeel Rajab, who was sentenced to three years in prison in Bahrain. They called on the French president to take an active and leading position in the international mobilization for their immediate release. The FIDH delegation also stated this request during a meeting with journalists on the steps of Elysee Palace after their meeting with the French president.

Photos from the web-site of Elysee Palace (http://www.elysee.fr/president/mediatheque/photos/2012/aout/entretien-avec-mme-souhayr-belhassen-presidente.13796.html)

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