Commissioner Füle: Birthday wishes for imprisoned Belarusian human rights activist A. Bialiatski

Brussels, 25 September 2012

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle has sent a message to one of Belarusian political prisoners, the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski who is celebrating his 50th birthday today.

“I am sorry to convey my birthday wishes to you to a place where you definitely do not belong,” Commissioner Füle wrote.

I am sending you the message of our continuing support for your cause. You have become a visible and powerful symbol of all the failures of the regime when it comes to respect of European values and human rights. There is nothing to justify the treatment you are facing. On every occasion we repeat our demand to the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release and rehabilitate you,” reads the birthday message to Mr Bialiatski who has been in prison since August 2011 and sentenced last November to four and half years in a penal colony for his human rights activities.

On the occasion of Mr Bialiatski’s birthday Commissioner Füle recalled the fact that the normalisation of the EU´s relations with the Belarusian regime cannot take place unless all political prisoners are released and rehabilitated.

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