Six months since our colleagues in Viasna were arrested

On July 14, our colleagues, human rights advocates and activists Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich and Valiantsin Stefanovich were arrested and since then are held in the pre-trial detention center.

The leaders and the lawyer of the Belarusian Human Rights Center “Viasna” are facing fabricated charges of “organizing and financing group actions that grossly violate public order” and “tax evasion”.

An update on the official status of the case is expected to be announced today, half a year after their arrest. However, it is not likely to be very informative, since their lawyers are not allowed to disclose any details of the case.

In his latest letter from the detention center, the chairman of the Viasna, Ales Bialiatski, writes: “Time has stopped. I am calm about it because news and changes do not always lead to good». Uladzimir Labkovich, the lawyer of the organization is not allowed to correspond with his family at all.

This January will also be the month, marking a year of imprisonment for Leanid Sudalenka, the head of the local office of Viasna and Tatiana Lasitsa, the volunteer of the organization. As all the other political prisoners they are denied their right to a fair trial. Meanwhile the number of political prisoners in Belarus is reaching one thousand.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee condemns the unfair treatment of the Viasna members and demands their immediate release.

We encourage you to send a letter of solidarity and support to the members of Viasna. You can find the post addresses and more information about how to send them letters here: https://belarus.fidh.org/letter

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Berit Lindeman

Policy DirectorEmail: [email protected]Phone: 909 33 379Twitter: @LindemanBerit
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Dag A. Fedøy

Director of CommunicationsEmail: [email protected]Phone: +47 920 54 309Twitter: @dagfedoy
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