November 26, 2012
Court officers sealed the organization’s premises.
It is exactly here that the assistance to the repressed has been provided, press-conferences on human rights violations and other human rights activities have been held during the past 12 years.
Court officers came to the human rights group’s office together with police and state gas company representatives, who performed the procedure of confiscation of property and sealed the office. The apartment with the address Nezaliezhnasci Avenue 78a will be sealed until the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who is registered there, stays in prison. When the political prisoner comes out of prison the issue of confiscation of the apartment will be dealt with.
In the human rights activists’ opinion, the authorities are celebrating the anniversary of the verdict to the chairman of Viasna Ales Bialiatski. On 24 November 2011 he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison with confiscation of property for alleged tax evasion, the human rights center Viasna reports.
Several minutes before the confiscation of the office and the property, the deputy chairman of the Viasna human rights group Valiantsin Stefanovich made a statement, approved by the organization’s Council. It notes that the loss of the office is a serious blow for Viasna, but this will not stop the human rights activities. The organization will keep helping people whose rights are being violated and also monitoring the general situation with human rights in Belarus :
“This, of course, complicates our lives. But in any case we will continue working. We were prepared for this. Indeed, it has had a long history. Since August, the court decision has been in force and was to be executed. It is all a bit strange that we were let staying here for so long, and even worked during the elections – and we were doing observation then.
Although, of course, we’re sorry, because we have worked in this office for 12 years. In fact, all Belarusian activists know our address. For us it is very important that the office is well-known, recognized, and people, if something happens, could know where to find us. But, nevertheless, we ourselves do not disappear, we will continue to work.”