New name: the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House

On 31 July, the new name of the Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius was approved. Now the official name is the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House. The name has been changed in honour of the prominent human rights defender, co-founder and the first president of the Belarusian Human Rights House, who has passed away in 2012 after a serious and long illness.

Barys Zvozskau died in June 2012, leaving behind a good name: during his life he was actively involved in human rights activities and practical protection in politically motivated trials, participated in the examination of a number of bills since 1998, and was engaged in legal education in the field of preventive human rights protection. From the very beginning Barys Zvozskau was among the initiators and active participants of the process of creating and then developing the Belarusian Human Rights House, in 2007-2010 he was the president of this HRH.

 Tatsiana Reviaka (left), the president of the Belarusian HRH, said that the name change is a sign of respect for the professionalism and Barys Zvozskau’s dedicated work: “One cannot just say that Barys Zvozskau was the first president of HRH, it would be too simple.He was its creator and inspirer, he was putting a lot of efforts, time, energy and health in it. Giving the Belarusian Human Rights House the name of Barys Zvozskau is just a small token of the appreciation and respect for this outstanding and at the same time such a humane and modest counterpart. This is also an evidence that the tradition of respect and professionalism, laid in the foundation of the House by Barys Zvozskau, is carried on. And this is the memory that remains in our hearts and minds.”  

  Barys Zvozskau was widely known and highly respected in the human rights defenders’ community in Belarus.He was an honest professional, dedicated to his work, always ready to help, in spite of his own needs and problems.

“There are people who leave fond memories of themselves and a lot of respect for them, even after leaving us. Their activities are still living, their ideas are developing and their opinions stays important. Our friend and colleague, human rights defender Barys Zvozskau was one of these people. He was very humble during his life, he defended the rights of people who needed help without waiting for thanks and recognition. Largely due to his consistency and perseverance, the Belarusian Human Rights House was set up”- said Tatsiana Reviaka, the president of the Belarusian Human Rights House, about Barys Zvozskau.

Barys Zvozskau worked a lot with journalists and activists on issues of defense in civil and criminal proceedings. The great contribution he has made to the education in the field of human rights among young people, lawyers, human rights defenders and advocates is also worth mentioning.

Belarusian HRH

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