4 August – International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society and Human Rights Movement in Belarus
Civil society activists, human rights defenders and people from different countries concerned with the situation in Belarus declared the initiative to establish the International Day of Solidarity with civil society and human rights movement in Belarus on the 4 August – the day when Ales Bialiatski was arrested.
Tuesday, 07 August 2012, by Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org
Ales Bialiatski, one of the leading human rights defenders in Belarus, Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" and vice-president of the International Federation of Human Rights, was arrested on 4 August 2011 and sentenced to 4.5 years imprisonment.
Actions in support of Ales Bialiatski (left) and all political prisoners in Belarus were held on 4 August in different countries of the world: Armenia, France, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine.
Kirsty Hughes, Executive chair of Index on Censorship, urged Belarusian authorities to release Ales Bialiatski:
"The detention of Nobel prize nominee Ales Bialiatski shows Lukashenka is attempting to silence independent voices and close down any criticism in Belarus. Bialiatski is one of Belarus’s leading human rights defenders and should be freed immediately".
Amnesty International reminds Belarusian Prosecutor General's office of political prisoners
On the anniversary of Ales Bialiatski's arrest Amnesty International made the statement "Still behind bars: The plight of long-term prisoners in Belarus".
The statement mentions cases of Ales Bialatski, Mikalai Statkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich, Eduard Lobau, Pavel Seviarynets and Siarhei Kavalenka, and expresses concern about their health, as well as pressure from prison personnel.
Amnesty International has written to the Prosecutor General of Belarus raising concerns about prisoners of conscience in Belarus and urging him to investigate the legality of their sentences, to ensure their immediate and unconditional release, and also to ensure the physical and psychological wellbeing of those in custody is protected and adequate medical treatment is provided to all prisoners in accordance with national legislation and the international human rights obligations of Belarus.
Amnesty International reminded the Belarusian authorities that under international law members of the civil society, including members of the opposition, should be allowed to gather peacefully and express their views openly, without the threat or fear of arbitrary arrest or ill-treatment.
Head of FIDH makes a statement in support of Ales Bialiatski and the International Day of Solidarity
Souhayr Belhassen (right), head of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), the world's oldest human rights organization, made a statement in support of Ales Bialiatski and the International Day of Solidarity with Civil Society in Belarus campaign. Ms. Belhassen is the leader of one of the Tunisian human rights organizations and has been the president of the International Federation of Human Rights for several years now, with Ales Bialiatski being vice-president.
"Members of the International Federation for Human Rights (146 human rights organizations around the world) for a year are actively involved in the campaign for the release of Ales Bialiatski. The anniversary of his arrest once again reminds us of the critical situation of civil society in Belarus.
Despite the hard times that touches all the concerned people of this country - journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and opposition activists - Belarusian colleagues amaze us with the firmness of their convictions their never-ending struggle for freedom and human dignity, and their personal courage.
On behalf of all members of the Federation, I would like to express my support to the campaign of the International Day of Solidarity with the Civil Society in Belarus, as well as gratitude to its organizers and participants".
Belarusian HRH based on spring96.org