Appeal from the Union
of Belarusian Writers
November 24 2011
The Union of Belarusian Writers wants to inform you that on 24 November the head of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna", vice-president of FIDH and the UBW member Ales Bialiatski was found guilty under Part 2 of Art. 243 of the Criminal Code (concealment of income on a large scale). He also must pay 721 million rubles and 36 million rubles of state tax and damage.
Bialiatski was detained on 4 August by Belarusian authorities. According to the Department of financial investigation of Committee on governmental control, Ales Bialiatski has to pay around 150 million rubles or 29 thousand US dollars at National Bank exchange rate, from the money transferred to his account in Lithuanian bank. The colleagues of Bialiatski say that this funds were directed to help the victims of Belarusian regime. In 2003, license of "Viasna" was cancelled, therefore the human rights defenders had to look for different ways to continue their activity.
In October 2011 the international committee on the nomination of Ales Bialiatski for the Nobel Peace Prize was founded. Among 29 members of the committee there are the head and founder of Moscow Helsinki Group, Liudmila Alekseeva, member of the Bundestag Marie-Louise Beck, former head of the OSCE mission in Minsk Hans-Georg Wieck, chairman of the BNR Ivonka Survilla, as well as human rights activists from Norway, USA, Sweden and Amnesty International.
The Union of Belarusian Writers considers the official charge to be a politically-motivated decision and prosecution for civic activities. We call for the international support and expanding the information about Ales Bialaitski’s case among the members of your organization.
Of the Union of Belarusian Writers.