2 years after his arrest, Ales Bialiatski, Vice President of FIDH and President of Viasna, is still behind bars, as are 11 other political prisoners whose rights he was defending right up to his very last day of freedom. August 4, 2013 marks the second year of his imprisonment.
In spite of his situation, including the forced daily work together with his fellow prisoners in the Babruisk Penal Colony, the voice of Ales can still be heard.
Ales’ conditions of detention are harsh. His fellow prisoners are not allowed to talk to him. For spurious reasons, his wife has been forbidden to visit him since December 2012 and he is regularly deprived of his right to food parcels, although the food that is given to prisoners is extremely limited. It has been months since he has seen any fresh fruit or vegetables. His health is deteriorating due to this.
Despite a huge smear campaign by the Belarusian authorities trying to present Ales Bialiatski as a common law criminal, his fight and his fate have not left the world indifferent. Ales has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Vaclav Havel Prize of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and has been awarded several prestigious distinctions and awards, including the Lech Walesa Award for peace, cooperation between nations, for freedom and respect for basic human rights, the Petra Kelly Prize and the US Department of State’s Human Rights Defenders Prize.
In May 2013, FIDH member leagues from every region of the world re-elected Ales Bialiatski as Vice-President, sending out a strong message of solidarity and support for their colleague.
Last year, 4th August was proclaimed International Day of Solidarity with the Civil Society of Belarus. Join the campaign to support Ales and the civil society in Belarus by spreading the information around you via Twitter @freeales and @soli-days and use the hashtag #freeales.
For more information about Ales Bialiatski, please visit -> www.freeales.fidh.net
You can also join the Thunderclap campaign to support Ales Bialiatski by clicking any time between now and 4th August on this link.
We call for the immediate release of Ales Bialiatski, President of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and FIDH Vice-President! The international community must not give in to a regime that toys with its citizens’ life and freedom. It must join us in demanding the release of Ales Bialiatski and all political prisoners in Belarus!