On 10 December the world will celebrate another anniversary of adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN General Assembly. Since 10 December 1950, this day has been marked as the International human rights day.Human Rights Center “Viasna” states that the situation of human rights in Belarus remains stably bad. Political prisoners – human rights defenders, civil and political activists – continue being kept behind bars. The country’s authorities impose unlawful restrictions on the fundamental civil and political freedoms, including freedom of peaceful assemblies, association, expression, participation in the state government through free, democratic and fair elections, etc. Mass media have been monopolized by the state, whereas independent media and journalists face constant pressurization and threats of persecution. Belarus remains the last countries in Europe and the former USSR where the death penalty is still used. The Belarusian authorities openly demonstrate disregard to the international commitments in the sphere of human rights, voluntary undertaken by the country within the UN and the OSCE. Human Rights Center “Viasna” addresses representatives of the human rights and democratic community of the country with the call to mark the International Day of Human Rights by holding solidarity actions with political prisoners as well as actions aimed at informing the Belarusian society about the real situation of human rights in the country.
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.