Imprisoned Belarusian human rights defender, Ales Bialiatski has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Both the 50-year-old leader of Human Rights Center “Viasna” and Russian rights defender Lyudmila Alekseyeva have been put forward for the award by two Norwegian lawmakers.

“They have both defied authoritarian state structures and the illegal and illegitimate abuse of power,” said one of the two MPs, Jan Tore Sanner.

Mr. Bialiatski, who is vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights, was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, but missed out on the award, which was bestowed on the European Union.

Mr. Bialiatski was arrested in Minsk on 4 August 2011.

On November 24, 2011, he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on a charge of large-scale tax evasion. The charge stemmed from information about his bank accounts abroad, which was thoughtlessly provided by authorities in Lithuania and Poland under interstate legal assistance agreements. During his trial, Mr. Bialiatski insisted that the money transferred by various foundations to his bank accounts abroad had been intended to finance Viasna’s activities and therefore could not be viewed as his income subject to taxation.

Source: BelaPAN

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