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In support of Ales Bialiatski, Belarus Human Rights Defender

Written declaration No. 497 | Doc. 12760 | 06 October 2011

Mr Andres HERKEL, Estonia, EPP/CD ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Miloš ALIGRUDIĆ, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Daniel BACQUELAINE, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Viorel Riceard BADEA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Denis BADRÉ, France, ALDE ; Ms Marieluise BECK, Germany, ALDE ; Ms Anne BRASSEUR, Luxembourg, ALDE ; Ms Sylvia CANEL, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Mikael CEDERBRATT, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Ingrida CIRCENE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Deirdre CLUNE, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Şaban DİŞLİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Miljenko DORIĆ, Croatia, ALDE ; Mr Terence FLANAGAN, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Stanislav FOŘT, Slovak Republic, ALDE ; Mr Erich Georg FRITZ, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr György FRUNDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Charles GARDETTO, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Sylvi GRAHAM, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Margus HANSON, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Serhiy HOLOVATY, Ukraine, ALDE ; Ms Anette HÜBINGER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Mats JOHANSSON, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Ferenc KALMÁR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Giorgi KANDELAKI, Georgia, EPP/CD ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Václav KUBATA, Czech Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Pavol KUBOVIČ, Slovak Republic, EPP/CD ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Mr Theo MAISSEN, Switzerland, EPP/CD ; Ms Nicole MANZONE-SAQUET, Monaco, EPP/CD ; Mr Bernard MARQUET, Monaco, ALDE ; Mr Dick MARTY, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Frano MATUŠIĆ, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Mr Edgar MAYER, Austria, EPP/CD ; Mr Jean-Claude MIGNON, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Valeriu MUNTEANU, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Ms Hermine NAGHDALYAN, Armenia, ALDE ; Mr Gebhard NEGELE, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Ms Liliana PALIHOVICI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Jaana PELKONEN, Finland, EPP/CD ; Ms Zaruhi POSTANJYAN, Armenia, EPP/CD ; Ms Marietta de POURBAIX-LUNDIN, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Christos POURGOURIDES, Cyprus, EPP/CD ; Mr Janusz RACHOŃ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Ms Mailis REPS, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Paul-Eerik RUMMO, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Indrek SAAR, Estonia, SOC ; Mr Kimmo SASI, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Leander SCHÄDLER, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Ms Marina SCHUSTER, Germany, ALDE ; Mr Serhiy SOBOLEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria STAVROSITU, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Latchezar TOSHEV, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Ms Anne-Mari VIROLAINEN, Finland, EPP/CD ; Mr Luca VOLONTÈ, Italy, EPP/CD ; Ms Renate WOHLWEND, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD ; Mr Karl ZELLER, Italy, EPP/CD ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

Following the wave of repression in the aftermath of the presidential elections, the situation of human rights and civil and political liberties has deteriorated dramatically in Belarus. Trumped up criminal charges, searches, interrogations and smear campaigns have been launched against political activists and human rights defenders.

Ales Bialiatski, leader of the Human Rights Centre Viasna, was arrested on 4 August 2011 and may face up to seven years imprisonment purportedly for income tax evasion. The severe restrictions on freedom of association in Belarus and the impossibility for independent organisations to register and to receive funds from abroad seriously impeded the work of Viasna and jeopardised its efforts to assist victims of political repression.

Ales Bialiatski is a victim of political harassment and is clearly being prosecuted for his civic activities. The so-called “tax evasion” charges are a pretext for the government to eliminate a courageous opponent of the Lukashenko regime.

As members of the Parliamentary Assembly attached to the fundamental principles of democracy, rule of law and human rights, we will monitor the proceedings against Ales Bialiatski and other opponents of the regime with special interest, while at the same time demanding the release of all political prisoners in Belarus.