August 3, 2012
A series of one-person pickets in support of civil society in Belarus took place on Chistoprudny Boulevard in Moscow on August 3, 2012.
A number of international and country-based human rights organizations in over 10 countries have joined forces to hold an international day of solidarity with civil society in Belarus on August 4. It was exactly one year ago on this day that the Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, director of the shuttered Viasna Human Rights Center and vice-president of the International Federation of Human Rights, was arrested.
Participants in today’s pickets in Moscow held bear-shaped balloons, teddy bears, and a poster reading “Solidarity is Stronger than Repression.” Some people wore t-shirts bearing a photo of Bialiatski.
Yuri Dzhibladze, president of the Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights and one of the participants in the picket, stated that Russian human rights defenders are in full agreement with civil society in Belarus, which is in favor of freedom and human rights, but is subjected to repression for this. “It is important that people in Belarus know that they are not alone and that people in countries throughout the world support them,” he told BelaPAN.
Dzhibladze also stated that the action was directed at politicians and governments of various countries that directly or indirectly support the Belarusian regime, for example through loans or trade agreements, which is what the EU does.
At the end of the pickets, the participants released the bear-shaped balloons in front of the Belarusian embassy. They also lay toy bears near the embassy’s doors and windows and stuck a sticker with the inscription “Long Live Belarus!” on the building’s drainpipe.