Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Lubomír Zaorálek, received Belarusian activist Ales Bialiatski at the Czernin Palace on 5 August, 2014. Ales Bialiatski founded the most respected Belarusian human rights organization “Viasna”, which provides legal and financial support to the victims of Belarusian regime repressions.
The visit of Ales Bialiatski to the Czech Republic follows a few weeks after his release from jail. He was sentenced for 4.5 years in a trial based on fabricated charges in 2011. “Welcome in Prague and I am glad that you are free,” said Minister Zaorálek and added: “I would like to assure you that our support of democratic forces is permanent. I hope there will be a growing number of free thinking and pro-European people in your country.”
Among other topics, Minister Zaorálek and the Belarusian activist discussed the political and human rights situation in Belarus ahead of presidential elections in 2015.
Bialiatski is the first winner of the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, awarded annually since 2013 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to reward outstanding civil society contribution to the defence of human rights in Europe and beyond.