More than a hundred people agreed to vouch for Ales Bialacki, head of the Viasna human rights center. He was arrested last Thursday and is suspected of tax evasion crimes.
– We started collecting signatures just yesterday, and we have more than a hundred now. – said Uladzimir Labkovich, a Viasna activist, in an interview with Radio Svaboda. – People come to our office all the time. Recently, Uladzimir Niaklayeu and his wife signed. Also Aleksander Fiaduta, Zanna Litvina, Alekh Khulaka, Hary Pahniayla, and many other well known people. We collect signatures not only in Minsk, but in the entire country. We hope that soon we will be able take to a prosecutor more than a thousand vouches for Bialacki – he said. Signatures are also collected by a known world-wide International Federation of Human Rights.
„Vouching does not guarantee that Bialacki will be released from the arrest, but it is very important, because it shows our solidarity with the detainee“ – wrote Viasna activists in a statement.
A solidarity action spread to the Internet. A Facebook group „We all are Ales“ was joined by more than 350 people. It is supposed to resembel an Egyptian site called „We all are Khaled Said“, dedicated to a young blogger killed by the police.
On August 8th, Bialacki was visited by a lawyer, who informed that the head of „Viasna“ is fine, and did not have any complaints.
Bialacki was arrested on the charge of big-scale tax evasion. The case against him was built on a basis of information delivered by the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice. Tatiana Raviak from „Viasna“ informed that Bialacki might face up to seven years in prison and loss of property.