Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”, has been reelected Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). The vote was held during the 38th FIDH Congress in Istanbul where the FIDH member organisations were meeting to elect the new International Board and define the main FIDH orientations for the next three years.
In 2007, Ales Bialiatski became the first FIDH Vice President from Eastern Europe, and was reelected for a second term in 2010.
Karim Lahidji was also elected President of FIDH. He succeeds to Souhayr Belhassen who headed the Federation for six years. He is the first FIDH President from Iran.
“It is an immense honour to have been elected President of FIDH. My first message is to all the human rights defenders who are arbitrarily detained, wherever they are in the world. We will continue endlessly to call for their immediate, unconditional release. My thoughts turn especially to my colleagues and friends Ales Bialiatski, in prison in Belarus and Nabeel Rajab, detained in Bahrein”, said Karim Lahidji.
“We would like to reiterate our appeal to the Turkish authorities to free all the journalists, lawyers and unionists who have been arbitrarily detained, in particular Muhammet Erbey, President of the Diyarbakir section of IHD who has been in prison since December 2009 for having denounced human rights violations against the Kurdish minority”, Karim Lahidji added.
“At present, women’s rights are being threatened in many countries; the universality of rights will be at the heart of our fight, more than ever“, said Karim Lahidji.