The court of Belarus has sentenced the Nobel laureate to 10 years in prison. here’s why

A Belarus court on Friday sentenced Belarus’ top human rights lawyer and one of the winners of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize to 10 years in prison. Viasna reported on Friday that Bialiatski and three other top people from the Viasna Human Rights Center he founded had been convicted of violating public order and financing trafficking.

Valentin Stefanovich was given a nine-year sentence; Uladzimir Labkowicz seven years; and Dzmitry Salauyou was sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison.

Beliatsky and two of his associates were arrested and jailed after mass protests over the 2020 election, which gave authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko a new term in office. Salau managed to leave Belarus before being arrested.

Read also: From France, with love: Nobel laureate Annie Arnoux briefly leaves her world to enter ours

Lukashenko, who has ruled the former Soviet country with an iron fist since 1994, launched a brutal crackdown on protesters, the largest in the country’s history. More than 35,000 people were arrested, and thousands were beaten by the police.

During the trial, which took place behind closed doors, 60-year-old Baliatsky and his aides were placed in a cage in the courtroom. Since his arrest, he has spent 21 months behind bars.

In photos of the courtroom released Friday by Belarus’ state news agency Belta, Baliatsky, dressed in black, looks sad but calm.

Viasana said after the verdict that the four activists maintained their innocence.

Read also: Visva Bharati pulls up student for supporting Nobel laureate Sen in land dispute

In his final address to the court, he urged the authorities to “stop the civil war in Belarus”. Baliatsky said that it became clear to him from the case files that “the investigators were carrying out the task given to them: to deprive Viasana’s human rights advocates of freedom at any cost, to destroy Viasana and to stop our work.” “

Exiled Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tsikanuskaya described the court’s decision on Friday as “appalling”. “We must do everything we can to fight against this shameful injustice (and) free them,” Tsikousskaya wrote in a tweet.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, a non-governmental organization working to ensure that human rights are respected in practice, said it was “appalled by the cynicism behind the sentences just issued to our Belarusian friends in Minsk”. was surprised by.”

“The trial shows how Lukashenka’s regime punishes our allies, human rights defenders, for standing up against oppression and injustice,” Secretary-General Berit Lindemann said in a statement.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button