IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Statement of the EaP Civil Society Forum on the sentencing of Ales Bialiatski in Belarus
Tagged under Steering Committee
On 24 November 2011, apolitically motivated verdict was pronounced in Belarus against a prominent human rightsdefender, leader of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Ales Bialiatski. He was foundguilty of alleged "tax evasion on a large scale", andsentenced to four-and-a-half years of imprisonment in a high-security penalcolony with confiscation of property.
Thus,a prominent human rights defender joined the list of political prisoners in Belarus.
AlesBialiatski is internationally recognised as an impartial and outspokenhuman-rights defender, who has persistently and conscientiously protected theideals of human rights and democracy under authoritarian circumstances.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum expresses resolute protest at AlesBialiatski's conviction and reiterates its position on his persecution andarrest, voiced by over50 participants of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in astatement adopted on 29 August 2011.
We would like to state the following:
We call upon the European Union institutions and member states to take measurestoward the release of Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners, as thereshould be no political prisoners in the countries that have signed the EasternPartnership Declaration.
We demand the immediate andunconditional release and full rehabilitation of Ales Bialiatski.