2012 19/04

Paris-Geneva, April 19, 2012. On April 2, 2012, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), submitted the case of Mr. Ales Bialiatski to the United Nations (UN) Working group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).

Mr. Ales Bialiatski is the Vice President of FIDH and the President of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, in Belarus.

He was arrested on August 4, 2011, and sentenced to 4 years and a half imprisonment under fabricated charges of “tax evasion on an especially large scale” in November 2011, following a blatantly unfair trial which clearly showed the politically-motivated character of the prosecution.

“We reiterate our strong condemnation of the ongoing arbitrary detention of Ales Bialiatski, which was staged by the Belarusian authorities to silence his human rights activities and those of his organisation, Viasna. We ask the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to confirm the arbitrariness of the detention requiring his immediate and unconditional release”, OMCT Secretary General Gerald Staberock said today.

“This communication to the WGAD is in line with our efforts of international mobilisation to obtain the release of our Vice President, whose detention has already been denounced by a large number of international organisations and State representatives over the past months” FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen added.

The Observatory urges Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Bialiatski and to conform with the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by the Republic of Belarus.

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One thought on “The Observatory refers the case of Mr. Ales Bialiatski to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention”

  1. Ashish says:

    I am Benamar Benatta’s lawyer. The csriumctances of Benamar’s case are the worst I have ever heard. An innocent man, he was illegally transferred to the U.S. by Canadian officials on September 12, 2001 with nothing but prejudicial suspicions. He was locked away in the Metropolitian Detention Centre in Brooklyn under John Ashcroft’s insidious preventative detention regime. He was forgotten by Canada. He was tortured, abused and arbitrarily detained for nearly five years. Where do we even begin to obtain justice for Benamar? Well, first of all, we need answers. We need to put pressure on the Canadian government to review the csriumctances of Benamar’s illegal transfer. We need to call Canadian officials to account for their illegal actions. We need to reaffirm human rights principles and the rule of law. We need to make sure this never happens again. I hope that when you read about Benamar’s case, you feel compelled to lend your voice in speaking out against the injustices he endured. Join the Benatta Coalition for a Public Review and post a comment of support. Benamar regularly views this site and your expressions of support mean more than words can describe. Together, we will find the truth. In truth, there will be justice. That is what Benamar, and Canadians alike, deserve. Nicole

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