IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Statement on Repressions against Civil Society in Belarus
Tagged under Steering Committee
by the IV Forum of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum
«On repressions against civil society in Belarus»
29 November 2012
November 24, 2012 marks the first anniversary of the day of the imprisonment of Ales Bialaitski, chairman of the «Viasna» human rights centre in Belarus. He was convicted to 4,5 years in jail with confiscation of property. Ales was accused of tax evasion but in reality he was imprisoned for receiving funding for activities of his organisation. We view this decision by the Belarus government as an attempt to eliminate the most known human rights defender and to stop activities of the organisation he leads. Confiscation of premises where «Viasna» was located for the past 12 years that took place on November 26, 2012 is another way of repressing the work of human rights defenders.
Belarusian civil society organisations – those working in the human rights sphere especially – continuously face repressive actions by the government of Belarus. Equally unacceptable is the persecution of journalists.
We find appaling the recent cases of attack against journalist Andrzej Paczobut as well as the ban on the ARCHE journal to be printed and disseminated in Belarus.
On behalf of the Forum, we express our support to the civil society in Belarus, and demand immediate release and full rehabilitation of all political prisoners.
There is no place in Europe for a state where human rights violations are massive and widespread, journalists are persecuted and political prisoners remain behind bars.