News from Ales Bialiatski

Freeales.fidh.net was created after the arrest of Ales Bialitaski, as an information portal about the struggle of Belarusian civil society, what has been done at the international level to end its harassment and what more can be done.

Human rights defenders and civil society in Belarus are subjected to harsh conditions. As a result, their plight has often been in the international spotlight, particularly in December 2010, when popular protest overs the 2010 Presidential elections was crushed by the State. Many people were arrested, harassed and beaten.

Arrested by the Belarusian authorities on grounds of “serious tax evasion” on August 4, 2011, Ales Bialiatski was subsequently condemned for his human rights activities. Ales Bialiatski is Vice-President of FIDH and President of the Belarus-based Human Rights Centre “Viasna”. Bialiatski’s case has become symbolic of the constant persecution that human rights defenders and representatives of civil society in Belarus as a whole are subjected to by the government.

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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Ales Bialiatski visits Brussels and Strasbourg

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On July 1 Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), visited Brussels. He met with representatives of the European Union to thank them for their tireless efforts on his release and call for the struggle for the liberation of all political prisoners in Belarus and systemic changes in the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms. The human rights activist also urged to support the country’s civil society in the struggle for democracy and human rights. European diplomats and journalists asked the head of “Viasna” about the the conditions of his detention and circumstances of his recent release.

Ales Bialiatski, FIDH CEO Antoine Bernard and Head of Eastern Europe and Central Asia Department...

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Preventive register will not become an obstacle for Ales Bialiatski in his international activities

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On June 23, head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski visited the criminal-executive inspection of Minsk’s Pershamaiski District Police Department, where he was registered after his early release from prison.

The former political prisoner will be under preventive restrictions and obligations.

I signed a paper on preventive register, according to which I will be checked by a district police officer once a month, I should not commit more than three administrative violations during one year, because then they will have grounds for preventive surveillance – a more severe form of supervision over those who have served their sentence. Meanwhile, preventive register now allows me to travel anywhere in Belarus and abroad for a period of less than a month...

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Ales Bialiatski : Belarus should be a country without political prisoners

On June 23, the Minsk office of the Human Rights Center “Viasna”  hosted a press conference of the organization’s leader and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights, Ales Bialiatski, who was released on Saturday after almost three years of arbitrary detention. The political prisoner was released from penal colony No. 2 in Babruisk on June 21, after a bill on amnesty entered into force.

“To serve time in prison term for a democratic, independent Belarus – it is normal,” Ales Bialiatski said in the beginning of the press-conference. He crossed out his name on the T-shirt with the list of Belarusian political prisoners.

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Photos by Siarhei Hudzilin, nn.by

“We should not fear pressure and crackdown...

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First interview of released political prisoner Ales Bialiatski

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The head of “Viasna” human rights centre, Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights Ales Bialiatski was amnestied and released on June 21. He has spent almost three years in the colony on rigged charges.

On Minsk railway station the former prisoner of conscience was welcomed by his wife, colleagues, friends, concerned citizens. Many of them were crying, as it was hard to believe that Bialiatski is free at last.

When Ales Bialiatski returned home, he gave an interview to the editor-in-chief of charter97.org website Natalya Radzina.

- Ales, our congratulations! People across Belarus and all over the world rejoice at your release. Lukashenka has signed the amnesty law today, and you are free at once...

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Ales Bialiatski released!

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Prominent Belarusian human rights activist, Vice-President of FIDH and President of Human Rights Centre “Viasna”,  Ales Bialiatski has arrived in Minsk after he was released from prison.

He was welcomed at a Minsk train station by his wife Natalya Pinchuk, his collegues, friends and journalists.

Ales Bialiatski told reporters he was released under an amnesty law that came into force on June 21.

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Open letter to the UN Human Rights Committee by Natalia Pinchuk and Antoine Bernard

Antoine Bernard, Chief Executive Officer of FIDH, and Natalia Pinchuk, Ales Bialiatski’s wife, the authors of an individual submission made two years ago on behalf of Ales Bialiatski, President of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” in Belarus and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), have submitted an open letter to the UN Human Rights Committee requesting the Committee to give urgent priority to examining this complaint.

Valentin Stefanovich, Vice-President of HRC “Viasna”, commented that “The submission on behalf of Ales Bialiatski regarding his wrongful imprisonment resulting from a violation of his rights was submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee on 12 April 2012. This submission stated that Mr...

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“Mercuric Silver of Life” – new book by Ales Bialiatski

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The new book of essays was written by Ales Bialiatski in prison and is dedicated to events of 2010 – 2011 in Belarus.

The book includes memoirs, reflections and meditations, as well as describes daily routine and events that preceded the arrest of the human rights defender. The title of the book is quite metaphoric as the author tried to convey changeability and dangerous attraction, a kind of coldness of life.

“It is easy to write about the events of 2010 – 2011 because they seem to have imprinted well in my memory, but it is hard as well because time inexorably destroys freshness of emotions, hundreds and thousands of tiny details which create the multicolor picture of life...

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Ales Bialiatski: 1000 Days in Prison

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Ales Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center Viasna and vice president of FIDH, has spent 1000 days behind bars.

His wife, Natalya Pinchuk, mentioned it in an interview she gave to Gennady Barbarych, a correspondent for Radio Racyja.  This is quite a sad day. We also tried to guess how many days he’s been alive overall. It worked out to 18,800 days. So out of these 18,000 days, he has spent 1,000 days living under difficult conditions in prison”.

- RR: Is there any news from Ales? What is his emotional and physical state?

-Natalya Pinchuk: As far as any news from Ales himself is concerned, it can be quite hard to receive any specific information. He usually says that everything is fine...

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Ales Bialiatski – Civil Rights Defender of the Year 2014

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Ales Bialiatski, founder of the Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna, is the recipient of the 2014 Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. His wife, Natalya Pinchuk, and his colleagues of “Viasna” received the prize on his behalf at a official ceremony held on April 4 in Stockholm.

Civil Rights Defenders noted, that for over 30 years, Ales Bialiatski had pursued a life of continuous struggle to campaign for democracy and human rights, first in the Soviet Union and then in Belarus. Ales was arrested on 4 August 2011 and sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for tax evasion in a trial with clear political overtones. Since then he has been imprisoned and prevented from communicating freely with the outside world...

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