This written declaration commits only those who have signed it.
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.