September 28, 2012
In 2012, the Lech Wałęsa Award was given in recognition of the Laureate’s actions for democratisation of the Republic of Belarus, his active promotion of human rights and aid provided for persons currently persecuted by Belarusian authorities.
The laureate of the 2012 Lech Wałęsa Award is Ales Bialiatski
Ales Bialiatski is a Belarusian social activist, politician and human rights defender. He heads “Viasna” Human Rights Centre and is the Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights. The two organisations support families of political prisoners in Belarus, providing them with legal and financial assistance. Mr Bialiatski is also an active member of organisations advocating for human rights in Belarus. Twice named a Nobel Peace Prize candidate, in 2006 Ales Bialiatski received the Homo Homini Award from Vaclav Havel.
In 2011 Ales Bialiatski was sentenced by a Belarusian court to 4,5 years of a high-security colony for alleged tax evasion.