Bialiatski delivers Petra Kelly Prize money over to human rights defenders

The awarding ceremony took place on November 22 in Berlin. Natallia Pinchuk, the political prisoner’s wife, got the Prize on his behalf. “[Awarding] the prize expresses hogh appreciation of his work,” she said.

According to Natallia Pinchuk, Bialiatski asked to deliver the prize money, 10,000 euro, over to backing human rights defenders’ activity in Belarus.

Petra Karin Kelly (1947 – 1992) was a German politician and activist who played important role in founding the German Green Party. The Petra Kelly Foundation was founded in 1997 as part of the Heinrich Böll Foundation. Since 1998 the Heinrich Böll Foundation has been recognising people and civil society organisations for their outstanding achievements in respecting human rights, fostering non-violent conflict resolution, and protecting the environment with this prize.

The award is endowed with € 10,000. The Heinrich Böll Foundation views the awarding of the Petra Kelly Prize as a political statement. The publicity, financial support, and political recognition related to the award should help to foster the advancement of the awarded person’s or group’s concern.

The Prize was awarded to Kenyan politician and environmental activist Wangari Maathai (2004) Russian attorney and human rights activist Yurij Shmidt (2006) Columbian politician Ingrid Betancourt (2002).

In November, 2011 Head of Viasna human rights center was sentenced to 4.5-year confinement in a medium security penal colony and confiscation of property for alleged large-scale tax evasion.The fact of Ales Bialiatski’s holding bank accounts in Poland and Lithuania gave the grounds for criminal prosecution. The cash standing to the credit of accounts was used for human rights defence activity: the centre financially supported the people affected by Lukashenka’s regime. In court Bialiatski stated that he had no other possibility of getting financial aid from foreign backers.

The fifty-year human rights defender is serving his term in Babruysk penal colony No 2 working as a packer of garments there.


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