Belarus Ales Byalyatski wins Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize of Council of Europe

September 30, 2013

 

Ales Byalyatski wins Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize

Imprisoned Belarus human rights defender Ales Byalyatski has been awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize of the  Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly. “In his daily struggle against violations of human rights, injustice, arbitrariness and authoritarianism, Ales Bialiatski has worked ceaselessly so that the citizens of Belarus may one day aspire to our European standards,” The wife of Mr. Byalyatski was present at the ceremony.

The two other candidates for the award, which was instituted by PACE earlier this year, were the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (Georgia) and the Rights Defense Network (China). The selection panel, comprising six independent figures and chaired by Mr. Mignon, drew up its shortlist on the basis of 27 candidatures which fulfilled the criteria for the Prize.

The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, which aims to reward outstanding civil society action in the defense of human rights in Europe and beyond, is awarded by PACE in partnership with the Vaclav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation, and comes with a €60,000 prize.

Last year, Mr. Byalyatski was granted the US Department of State’s Human Rights Defenders Award, the Lech Walesa Award, and the Petra Kelly Prize of the Heinrich Boell Foundation.

Ales Byalyatski, chairman of a human rights organization called Vyasna (Spring) and vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights, was arrested in Minsk on August 4, 2011. On November 24, 2011, he was sentenced to four and a half years in prison on a charge of tax evasion. The charge stemmed from information about his bank accounts abroad, which was thoughtlessly provided by authorities in Lithuania and Poland under interstate legal assistance agreements. During his trial, Mr. Byalyatski insisted that the money transferred by various foundations to his bank accounts abroad had been intended to finance Vyasna’s activities and therefore could not be viewed as his income subject to taxation. [If the registration of his NGO had been facilitated instead of obstructed by the authorities this would have been clear!]

Ales Byalyatski wins Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize – Charter97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk.

One Response to “Belarus Ales Byalyatski wins Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize of Council of Europe”


  1. […] Belarus Ales Byalyatski wins Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize of Council of Europe (thoolen.wordpress.com) […]


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