The mayor of Paris and politician Anne Hidalgo has sent a letter supporting the arrested head of the human rights center “Viasna” and an honorary citizen of the French capital, Ales Byalyatski, spring96.org reports.
Anne Hidalgo has expressed her support for Ales Byalyatski in this new ordeal:
“I, like many citizens committed to protecting human rights, worry about developments in Belarus, where repression against the opposition to the existing regime – whatever it may be – is systematic.
Arbitrary arrests of activists, their detention in violation of the right to defense and, in general, under undignified conditions, as well as attacks on civil society organizations, are contrary to the values we defend and the very principle of democracy.
I note that this unjustified repression, which has hit the Viasna Human Rights Center hard, is widely condemned by the international community.
Since you are an honorary citizen of the city of Paris, I want to tell you that I will do everything in my power, together with the associations, whose primary mission is to influence the intolerable decision to deprive you of your fundamental freedoms.
Please accept, dear Ales Byalyatski, my most sincere and affectionate greetings.”
Ales Byalyatski was detained on July 14, 2021, as part of a large-scale attack by the secret services on the human rights community in Belarus. He was charged under Article 342 (“Organization and preparation of actions grossly violating public order or active participation in them”) and Article 243 (“Tax evasion”) of the Criminal Code. He is now kept in detention center #1 in Minsk. Ales Byalyatski has been recognized as a political prisoner.