International response

UN recognizes that Belarus violated the rights of Ales Bialiatski

fidh-viasna-logo

Remarkable decision against states that violate the freedom of association.

Paris-Minsk, 17 November 2014 In a decision that will go down in history, on 24 September 2014 the UN Human Rights Committee officially recognized that the Republic of Belarus violated the rights of Ales Bialiatski, President of Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and FIDH Vice President. The Committee recognized violations of Article 9 (the right to liberty and security of the person), Article 14 (the right to justice and a fair trial), and Article 22 (freedom of association) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This decision follows an individual communication from Ales Bialiatski’s spouse Natalia Pinchuk, represented by FIDH Director General Antoine Bernard...

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Vice-speaker of the Bundestag is going to support all political prisoners in Belarus

katrin-goering-eckardt

Vice-speaker of the Bundestag Katrin Göring-Eckardt, the representative of the Green Party, has congratulated the head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski on his birthday, which he celebrates today.

On the occasion of your release from prison in June, the godparenthood I have taken for as a prisoner in cooperation with “Libereco” and the German Parliament has come to a happy end. Nevertheless, I hereby assure my continuous support for your work as well as for all political prisoners in Belarus who are still waiting for their release.”- writes Katrin Göring-Eckardt with wishes human rights defender still have fortitude and never give up fighting for a better future for all Belarusian citizens.

Recall that the German-Swiss human rights organization Libereco – Part...

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UN Human Rights Committee takes five new decisions concerning Belarus

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At the 111th session, held 7-25 July, the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations considered five new cases concerning Belarus and issued decisions confirming the violation by the Government of Belarus of certain rights of Belarusian citizens. A brief review of cases was made for “Homel Spring” by the head of the Center for Strategic Lawsuits Leanid Sudalenka.

1. Case “Maryna Koktysh against Belarus” (№1985/2010) refers to the obstacles, created to the journalist of the independent newspaper “Narodnaya Volya” Maryna Koktysh in getting to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly (lower chamber of the Belarusian parliament)...

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PACE President meets with Ales Bialiatski upon his release

Visit by  Mr Bialiatski.Visite de M. Bialiatski.

On July 3, Ales Bialiatski, President of the Belarusian human rights centre Viasna and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and FIDH President Karim Lahidji met in Strasbourg with Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Mrs Brasseur used this opportunity to congratulate Mr Bialiatski in person, on behalf of the Assembly, on the award of the first Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. The Prize was awarded to Mr Bialiatski by the Assembly in September 2013, but the laureate, imprisoned since 2011, was unable to attend the ceremony. The President discussed with Mr Bialiatski the human rights situation in Belarus and the role that the Assembly needs to play to improve it.

Mr Bialiatski is for us a symbol of an un...

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Ales Bialiatski meets EU Commissioner Füle

Ales Fule

On July 2  Štefan FÜLE, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, met in Strasbourg with Ales BIALIATSKI, Belarussian political activist, head of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

After this meeting, the Europrean commission published a following statement :

EU-Belarus: Meeting with Ales Bialiatski in Strasbourg

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle met with prominent Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski in Strasbourg on July 2...

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UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus

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On June 27, the delegates of the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, the UN News Centre said.

The Council decided “to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus for a period of one year” and requested the Special Rapporteur to “submit a report on the situation of human rights in Belarus to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session and to the General Assembly at its seventieth session”. A resolution entitled “Situation of human rights in Belarus” was supported by 24 delegations. Seven members of the Council were against and 16 abstained.

The resolution expressed deep concern at “continuing violations of human rights in Belarus”...

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London welcomes the release of Ales Bialatski and calls to release the rest of the political prisoners

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Britain’s Minister for European Affairs David Lidington welcomes the release of Ales Bialatski and calls upon Belarus authorities to release the rest of the political prisoners, BelaPAN reports.

“I am glad to hear that the Belarusian authorities released Ales Bialatski, the head of the Viasna human rights organization. I am glad that after three years in prison, he has now returned to his family”, – says Lidington’s statement, published on 24 June.

At the same time the British minister “insistently urges Belarusian authorities to release all the remaining political prisoners and fully restore them in their civic and political rights”. “Great Britain will keep putting pressure on the Belarusian government in order for them to improve the human rights situation”, – Lidington ...

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Mayor of Paris on the release of Ales Bialiatski

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Press release of Ms. Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, on the release of Ales Bialiatski :

I found out with great joy about the release of Ales Bialiatski, a honorary citizen of Paris, Chairman of the HRC “Viasna” and Vice-President of FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights).

A known defender of human rights and freedoms, Ales Bialiatski was sentencedon November 24, 2011 as a result ofan unfair trial to four and a half years in prison. His release, after three years in prison,is a new step on the path to freedom of expression and democracy in the world.

I would once again like to express solidarity of the city of Paris with all the women and men who are fighting every day to protect fundamental rights...

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Bialiatski’s release “hopefully a sign of more to come,” says OSCE PA’s Holm

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Christian Holm (MP, Sweden), the Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Belarus, welcomed the release of human rights activist Ales Bialiatski after nearly three years into his prison term, calling the move “hopefully a sign of more to come.”

The Belarusian government has taken a positive, if long overdue, step in releasing Mr. Bialiatski. His release will not be complete, however, unless authorities allow him and his colleagues in the Belarusian civil society community to work free of state persecution. Mr...

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UN Special Rapporteur Miklós Haraszti: Ales Bialiatski released, but other political prisoners remain in jail

Miklos Haraszti

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, welcomed the release from prison of human rights defender Ales Bialiatski, but called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and their full rehabilitation.

Bialiatski, founder of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, recipient of various human rights awards and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was sentenced in November 2011 for tax evasion to four-and-a-half years in prison and confiscation of all his assets.

“In fact, the trumped-up charges against Bialiatski were directly linked to the fact that NGO activity is heavily curtailed by restricting access to funding,” the independent expert said.

Viasna, which has provided legal assistance to Belarusians arrested or imp...

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