Belarusian Human Rights Activist Ales Bialiatski arrested


The Vice-President of the International Federation of Human Rights and President of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, Ales Belyatsky was detained in Minsk on Thursday. During the afternoon some suspicious looking figures in plain clothes began gathering around the office of the Human Rights Centre Vyasna.  By the time the “guests” arrived, the Centre’s staff had left the office.

Ales Bialiatski was arrested later that afternoon. 

The following is a statement from the International Federation of Human Rights. 

FIDH expresses its deepest concern following the arrest today of Aliaksandr (Ales) Bialiatski, FIDH Vice-President and President of Human Rights Center Viasna.

FIDH expresses its deepest concern following the arrest today of Aliaksandr (Ales) Bialiatski, FIDH Vice-President and President of Human Rights Center Viasna [1]. 

A group of people in plain clothes surrounded the office of HRC "Viasna" in Minsk. Members of HRC "Viasna" immediately left the office and locked the door. They heard one of the plain-clothes individuals saying through his phone that "Bialiatski [was] not [t]here". 

At about 4.30 pm, Mr. Bialiatski was arrested on the street in the centre of Minsk by the police representative of the Department of Financial Investigations. 

At the time of writing, the police were in the process of conducting a search of his home. It is reported that Aliaksandr Bialiatski will subsequently be taken to HRC Viasna’s offices where police officers are waiting to conduct a search. 

Since April 2011, Ales Bialiatski has been the subject of a smear campaign which has been broadcast on public radio and television channels, in which he is presented as Belarus’ “Public Enemy Number 1”. His arrest is within the scope of the wave of repression that followed the presidential elections leading to a dramatic decline in human rights and civil and political liberties in Belarus. 

FIDH calls for the immediate and unconditional release of its Vice-president Aliaksandr Bialiatski.

Earlier they issued an Urgent Action suggesting ways to put pressure on the authorities.  Your help is needed!

Actions requested: 

The Observatory urges the authorities of Belarus to: 
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Ales Bialatski as well as of all human rights defenders in Belarus; 
ii. Disclose the whereabouts and release Mr. Ales Bialatski immediately and unconditionally since his detention is arbitrary as it seems to merely sanction his human rights activities; 
iii. Put an end to all forms of harassment against him, and more generally against all human rights defenders in the country; 
iv. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with: 
- its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”,  
- its Article 12.2, which states that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”; 
v. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Belarus. 
· President Alexander Lukashenko, ul .Karla Marksa, 38, 220016 Minsk, Belarus, Fax: + 375 172 26 06 10 or + 375 172 22 38 72, Email: 
· Head of the Administration of the President of Belarus, Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Makei, Ul. K. Marksa 34, 220016 Minsk, Fax: + 375 17 226-06-10 
· General Prosecutor, Grigory Alekseevich Vasilevich, Internatsionalnaya str. 22, 220050 Minsk, Belarus, Fax: + 375 17 226 42 52 
· Minister of Justice of Belarus, Mr. Viktor Grigorevich Golovanov, Ul. Kollektornaya, 10, 220004 Minsk, Belarus, Email 
· President of the Supreme Court of Belarus, Mr. Valentin Olegovich Sukalo, Ul. Lenina, 28, 220030 Minsk, Belarus, Email: 
· Permanent Mission of Belarus to the United Nations in Geneva, 15 avenue de la paix, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 748 24 51. Email: 
· Embassy of Belarus in Brussels, 192 avenue Molière, 100 Ixelles, Belgium, Fax : + 32 2.340.02.87, Email : 
Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Belarus in your respective country. 
 Paris-Geneva, August 4, 2011 
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply. 
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line: 

* E-mail:
* Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
* Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

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