22 May 2013

Abuse of prison regulations against imprisoned human rights defender in Belarus

On 16 May 2013, the wife of Belarus human rights defender Mr Ales Bialiatski went to the Bobruysk colony No.2, where her husband has been held since February 2012, in order to bring him a food parcel. However, the food parcel was refused by prison officials, who informed her that in March 2013 Ales Bialiatski's right to receive food from visitors had been suspended for six months.


Ales Bialiatski is the Chairman of Human Rights Centre Viasna. On 24 November 2011, he was found guilty of tax evasion on a large scale by the Pervomayski District Court of Minsk following an unfair trial, and was condemned to four and a half years imprisonment as well as the confiscation of all property including belongings registered in the name of other persons. The court also fined the human rights defender 721 million Belarusian Rubles (approx 82,700 USD) for alleged unpaid taxes and 36 million Belarusian Rubles (approx 4,100 USD) for state costs.

Belarus Penal colony

This incident is not the fist time that disciplinary measures have been used against Ales Bialiatski. Between March and June 2012, he received three reprimands, one of which resulted in the loss of visitation rights. Following the three reprimands, in June 2012 the human rights defender was named a 'malicious disturber', which resulted in his exclusion from the 2012 amnesty for economic crimes.

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