On December 6, 2012 activists of the human rights organization Front-Line Defenders held a picket in support of human rights defenders, dated to the opening of a session of the OSCE Council of Ministers.The aim of the action was to draw the public attention to the development of the OSCE mechanism aimed at the protection of human rights defenders by creation of the mandate of the Special Papporteur on human rights defenders. The picketers held portraits of the human rights defenders who were either killed or imprisoned, including a poster with the demand to release the imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski.
This website was created after the arrest of Ales Bialitaski, as an information portal about the struggle of Belarusian civil society, what has been done at the international level to end its harassment and what more can be done.
Human rights defenders and civil society in Belarus are subjected to harsh conditions. As a result, their plight has often been in the international spotlight, particularly in December 2010, when popular protest overs the 2010 Presidential elections was crushed by the State. Many people were arrested, harassed and beaten.
Arrested by the Belarusian authorities on grounds of “serious tax evasion” on August 4, 2011, Ales Bialiatski was subsequently condemned for his human rights activities. Ales Bialiatski is Vice-President of FIDH and President of the Belarus-based Human Rights Centre “Viasna”. Bialiatski’s case has become symbolic of the constant persecution that human rights defenders and representatives of civil society in Belarus as a whole are subjected to by the government.