Authorities in Belarus urged to release prominent human rights defender

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UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus Miklós Haraszti. [Photo: OSCE/Susanna Lööf]

A UN independent expert is calling for the immediate release of a human rights defender in Belarus who has been detained for the past two years.

Miklós Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, says the detention of Ales Bialiatski is a symbol of the repression against human rights defenders in the country.

Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center Viasna, was detained in August 2011 on tax evasion charges and later sentenced to nearly five years imprisonment. His property was confiscated, including assets registered to other people.

The UN rapporteur notes that Bialiatski could not legally work without hindrance because the authorities refused to register his NGO, as is the case with many other human rights defenders in Belarus.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 56″

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