Ales Bialiatski is the Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and President of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” in Belarus. He is a prominent human rights defender who is highly respected by the international community for his work.
Ales Bialiatski: a life dedicated to fighting totalitarianism
At the beginning of the 1980s, Ales Bialiatski, a young Belarusian writer, joined the national democratic movement and organised the first demonstrations against the Soviet authorities in Belarus. This commitment to the fight against totalitarism led to his imprisonment in 1988, marking the start of a long series of arrests and harassment.
In 1996, in the face of rising repression from the Lukashenka regime, Ales created the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, an organisation that assists victims of political repression and actively dissiminates information on human rights violations in Belarus around the world. Like many other associations in the country, “Viasna” was officially dissolved by a court ruling declaring it ‘illigal’ in 2003.
In 2007, just three years after joining FIDH, Ales Bialiatski is elected its Vice-President. He became the first representative of the former Soviet countries to be elected to the FIDH International Board at a Congress that brought together all its 164 member organisations worldwide.
Sasha Koulaeva: “Ales has always gone anywhere where there was a need for solidarity”
At the same time as continuing the fight for human rights in Belarus, Ales has undertaken numerous trips to Eastern Europe as well as taking part in observation and fact-finding missions. Ales also does a great deal of work at the international level, taking part in solidarity missions and sharing his experience in the field with Egyptian, Cuban and Tunisian human rights defenders.
Carl Gershman: “The Courage of Ales Bialiatski”
His long-standing commitment to promoting human rights has made Ales a key figure on the international scene. Ales Bialiatski’s struggle, which received recognition very early on, has brought him prestigious awards, including the Homo Homini Award from the Czech organization People in Need; the Sakharov Freedom Prize from the Norwegian Helsinki Committee; the Per Anger Prize from the Swedish government, Human Rights Defenders Award from the US Department of State; the Lech Walesa Award; and the Petra Kelly Prize.
Ales Bialiatski has been also named Honorary Citizen of Paris (France) and Genoa (Italy).
Photo Gallery : Bialiatski’s human rights activities