A round table and a photo exhibition were held on the Day of Solidarity with Belarusian civil society in Moscow. The participants of these events also signed postcards in support of the human rights activist Ales Bialiatski, who was arrested two years ago.
The action, held on the territory of the Moscow design factory “Flacon”, was attended by about 50 people – human rights activists from the International Observation Mission on human rights in Belarus, the Youth Human Rights Movement, political scientists, journalists, students and representatives of the Belarusian diaspora in Moscow.
In the beginning of the event, journalist of Radio “Liberty” Valery Kalinouski presented the book “Bialiatski’s Case”, published in the series “Library of Liberty”. The author told the story of its creation, read an excerpt from the chapter about the arrest of Ales Bialiatski and the last letter of the Babruisk prison:
“So far, almost everything is basically the old way. It will soon be two years sing the beginning of my “study in the people’s university”. After my first year a friend of mine, human rights activist from St. Petersburg, wrote that the time will go faster after the first year. She was right. Indeed, the second year went much faster than the first. Well and good. It was troublesome, but for me it was not wain. Surprisingly, I don’t feel out of place,” wrote Ales on 23 July.
During the public debate on the topic “Will Russia become Belarus?” there were a lot of comparisons of the situation in Belarus and Russia and evaluations of the reaction of the international community to the events in their countries and the way toimprove the the ways to influence the situation of human rights in both countries.
A member of the Human Rights Council under the President of Russia, head of the International Observation Mission on human rights in Belarus Andrey Yurov spoke about the experience of his mission, which includes human rights activists from the countries of the CIS. The mission monitored the most critical events in Belarus after December, 2010, raised their voices in protest, and continues its monitoring of the situation in Belarus:
“We will not stop out activities, at least untill human rights violations stop, Ales Bialiatski gets out of prison, becomes the Ombudsman in Belarus and asks us to dissolve,” said Mr. Yurov.
Many activists of the mission (more than 10 people), including its leaders Andrey Yurov and Yury Jibladze, are still banned entrance to Belarus.
The head of the independent research center “Freedom Fails” Olga Zakharova spoke about the current negative role of Russia as a unifier of non-democratic regimes that have tried to return the world to the state before the Helsinki Agreement. These agreement was reached in 1975, putting human rights above state sovereignty.
Representatives of the Belarusian emigrant circles in Moscow spoke of the need to respect the democratic forces of Russia to preservation of the independence of Belarus, the revival of its language and culture.
The human rights photo exhibition of Belarusian authors “Solidarity is stronger than repression” was held as a part of the Day of Solidarity.