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Peace Prize Winner Bialiatsky Trial |  TTELA

Peace Prize Winner Bialiatsky Trial | TTELA

Bialiatskiy has been imprisoned since the summer of 2021 and appears in court with two colleagues from Viasna who were imprisoned around the same time: Valiansyn Stefanovic and Uladzimir Lapkovich.

Pictures from the courtroom show the three sitting on the benches of the defendants in a cage and Bialiatsky sitting reading a newspaper.

Vjasna writes on his website that the trial is open to viewers, but they are registered upon arrival. The organization also announced that the regime’s propaganda media had gone to the site.

related to the protests

Bialiatsky, Stefanovic, Lipkovic and another colleague of those who were tried in their absence risked imprisonment of between seven and twelve years.

Founded by Ales Byalyatski in 1996, Viasna seeks to document the regime’s imprisonment of dissidents and the protection of basic rights in a dictatorship. In connection with the beginning of the year, the organization announced that it had counted just over 6,300 politically motivated arrests in Belarus during 2022.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Belarus in the second half of 2020, after a series of rigged presidential elections in favor of President Alexander Lukashenko. With significant help from Russia, the establishment has been able to put down protests, imprison prominent opposition figures, and brutally persecute those who have spoken out.

The Belarusian state news agency Belta also draws attention to the trial, but then offers a crude account of the crimes the regime claims were committed. It concerned, among other things, the receipt of money by Viasna from abroad without paying taxes on it, as well as inducing people to seriously disturb public order.

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Imprisoned and praised

Ales Bialiatsky was imprisoned several times for politically motivated reasons. In 2011, he was locked up in a penal colony where he was largely isolated for three years. After his release, he received a number of international awards and recognitions.

In October, it became clear that Bialiatsky had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Russian legal organization Memorial and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties. The Belarusian wife accepted the award in Oslo in his absence.