Posts Tagged ‘Viasna Human Rights Centre’

Good NEWS: Ales Bialiatski – Belarus’ best-known human rights defender – freed from prison

June 22, 2014

On 21 June 2014 it was reported by AP and others that prominent Belarusian human rights defender  Ales Bialiatski was finally released from prison that day. The 51-year-old leader of the NGO Vyasna, was released 20 months ahead of schedule. Supporters greeted Bialiatski at a train station in the capital, Minsk, after he traveled from prison.”The international support and the support back home, this is what brought about my release,” Bialiatski told reporters, “I will continue to do what Ive been doing.”   [6 people remain in prison for political activism, including former presidential candidate Nikolai Statkevich]

via Belarus human rights leader freed from prison after 3 years in possible gesture to West | Star Tribune.

for earlier posts on Ales Bialiatski:

Major conference on human rights in Belarus on 27 May in Geneva

May 22, 2014

On Tuesday 27 May 2014, will take place a Conference on the human rights situation in Belarus, from 14h00 –17h00 in the International Conference Centre in Geneva (room 3)

Speakers include:

  • Florian Irminger, Human Rights House Foundation
  • Tatsiana Reviaka, Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and Belarusian Human Rights House
  • Aleh Hulak, Belarusian Helsinki Committee
  • Anna Gerasimova, Belarusian Human Rights House
  • Volodymyr Yavorskyy, Working group on the development of the Guidelines on Definition of Political Prisoner
  • Andrzej  Poczobut, journalist
  • Nicolas Agostini, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • Andrei Paluda, Human Rights Centre “Viasna”
  • Pavel Levinau, Belarusian Helsinki Committee
  • Natallia Pinchuk, wife of Belarus political prisoner Ales Bialaitski
  • Marina Adamovich, wife of Belarus political prisoner Mikola Statkevich

For more  information contact: anna.innocenti[at]

The meeting is cosponsored by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, FIDH, Civicus, Belarusian Human Rights House and the Human Rights House Foundation.

Human rights defenders participate in MP4Freedom campaign

April 2, 2014

US-based NGO Freedom House, in cooperation with the Lithuanian Parliament and Belarusian human rights defenders, launched on 26 March 2014 the MP4Freedom initiative inviting Lithuanian MPs to become “godparents” of political prisoners in Belarus.As neighbors, Lithuanians should care about the future of the Belarusian nation,” said Petras Austrevicius, deputy speaker of the Seimas, who championed the initiative on behalf of the Lithuanian Parliament.  “The idea behind this initiative is to encourage Lithuanian MPs to engage on the issue personally by becoming ‘godparents’ of political prisoners in Belarus.”

To make this initiative effective, Lithuanian MPs should address the Belarusian authorities and demand the release of political prisoners,” said Marina Lobava, the mother of a political prisoner Eduard Lobau. “MPs can write to the heads of detention facilities requesting information about the health of a particular political prisoner. They can also help by contacting the International Red Cross and facilitating its visits to prisons. International advocacy in the EU to keep the political prisoners issue on the foreign policy agenda towards Belarus is also necessary.”

Under this campaign, the participating Lithuanian parliamentarians, who represent the governing and opposition political parties alike, take the responsibility to follow the cases of particular political prisoners in Belarus, meet with their relatives, and speak publicly both at Lithuanian and international venues on human rights violations in Belarus. There are currently 10 political prisoners in Belarus, according to the Human Rights Center Viasna.

Freedom House, the Lithuanian Parliament and human rights defenders launch initiative to support Belarusian political prisoners | Belarus: civil society under attack |

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.  Read the rest of this entry »

Vasil Parfiankou sent for forced treatment in Belarus

September 24, 2013

Vasil Parfiankou sent for forced treatment

Former political prisoner Vasil Parfiankou has been placed in medical and labor dispensary No. 1 in the town of Svetlahorsk, after serving five days of arrest in Minsk. The Human Rights Center “Viasna” Read the rest of this entry »

Detention after solidarity action in Mahiliou, Belarus

August 8, 2013

Social activist Dyiana Yakauleva was detained by the riot police at the police station in Krylenka Street. Human rights defenders Barys Bukhel and Aliaksei Kolchyn are trying to clear up the circumstances of the detention. From 11.30 -12.30  a.m. a solidarity action, timed to coincide with the International Day of Solidarity with the Civil Society of Belarus, was held in the city of Mahiliou, Belarus. During the action, social activists handed out postcards with a portrait of the imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Ales Bialiatski. The protest went peacefully but after it ended Dyiana Yakauleva was detained anyway.

via Detentions after solidarity action in Mahiliou – Charter97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk.


“Free Bialatski!”, “Free Nabil” shouted by FIDH in the streets of Istanbul

May 27, 2013

Freedom to Bialatski! in streets of Istanbul

The participants of the 38th Congress of the International Human Rights Federation (FIDH), which has started on 23 May in Istanbul, organized a procession with the demand to release their colleagues political prisoners Read the rest of this entry »

General Prosecutor’s Office in Belarus refuses dialogue with NGOs

August 10, 2012

On 10 August, Human Rights Center “Viasna” reported that it received an answer from the General Prosecutor’s Office about a request it and others NGOs (Belarusian Helsinki Committee, Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Committee for Protection of the Repressed “Solidarity”, the Centre for Legal Transformation, and the Center for Human Rights) had made to discuss illegal preventive detention.

The Head of the Department for Supervision over the observance of the rights and freedoms of citizens, M.V.Papova, simply made a bureaucratic response stating that “given that you are not a person to whom, in prescribed order, is delegated the right to represent the interests of these citizens, there are no sufficient grounds to consider your appeal”. But human rights activists in their address didn’t ask to represent the interests of citizens in administrative processes, but only meet with the Attorney General of the Republic of Belarus, the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus to discuss the situation, prevent illegal practices, and bring the perpetrators to justice. Basically, they didn’t hear an answer from the Prosecutor General’s Office. The Deputy of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” Valiantsin Stefanovich said “representatives of the Belarusian human rights organizations expressed their concern that illegal and politically motivated detentions and arrests of political and civil activists have actually become a norm in the country. It is very unfortunate that not only representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but also judges are involved in these processes. This problem we planned to discuss with senior officials, whose responsibility is to protect legitimate rights of citizens of the country. We did not complain to the sentences of the courts, did not intend to represent these citizens in these public bodies and institutions. It is a pity that the General Prosecutor’s Office declined in an ostrich style the offer of the human rights defenders“.

from: General Prosecutor’s Office covers preventive arrests of oppositionists – Charter97 :: News from Belarus – Belarusian News – Republic of Belarus – Minsk.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Füle: solidarity with the activists of Viasna in Belarus

January 26, 2012

It is good to see that not only human rights functionaries in the EU express themselves when confronted with human rights issues:  Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, met the Vice-President of the Belarusian Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, Valiantin Stefanovic, to discuss the situation of human rights activists in Belarus. In this context, the Commissioner expressed his concerns about the ongoing politically motivated targeting of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”.

Their meeting took place after the Minsk City Court rejected the cassation appeal of renowned human rights defender and President of “Viasna” and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights Ales Bialiatski, who was sentenced on 24 November 2011 on politically motivated grounds as a consequence of his work to the benefit of victims of repression.

Commissioner Füle expressed his deep concern over this decision and reiterated the EU’s call on Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr Bialiatski and to drop the charges against him and against his deputy Valiantsin Stefanovic.

Belarus: Commissioner Füle with the activists of Viasna and FIDH.