Belarusian ICDR member and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ales Bialiatski has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.
The sentencing of pro-democracy activist Ales Bialiatski is a violation of human rights, an insult to the principle of the rule of law and to human dignity, and a clear injustice.
The charges of smuggling and financing "actions grossly violating public order" are unfounded and simply an attempt by the authoritarian regime of Alexander Lukashenko to silence dissenting voices and punish those who fight for the rights and freedom of Belarusian citizens.
Forum 2000 strongly condemns this politically motivated conviction. The international community must denounce and condemn this injustice and demand the immediate release of Ales Bialiatski and other political prisoners in Belarus. Lukashenko’s dictatorship has cracked down on the opposition movement, jailing his critics or pushing them into exile. The fact that there are currently over 1,450 political prisoners in Belarus, according to rights group Viasna, highlights the ongoing repression and lack of basic freedoms in the country.
Bialiatski was sentenced alongside fellow human rights activists Valiantsin Stefanovic who received a nine-year jail term, and Uladzimir Labkovich who got a seven-year sentence.