The Nobel Committee set the seal upon nominating the Belarusian human rights defender to the Nobel Peace Prize, Deputy Andrzej Halicki, Head of the Polish delegation to PACE, told Polish Press agency (PAP).
More than 200 Polish MPs and representatives of 27 European countries put their signatures under the statement in support of the Belarusian nominee.
Ales Bialiatski, the head of human rights centre «Viasna» shut down by the Belarusian authorities and the vice-president of FIDH (International Federation of Human Rights Defenders), has been in jail since August 4, 2011. The fact of Ales Bialiatski’s holding of 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. Opening accounts in Belarus turned out to be impossible since the Belarusian authorities repeatedly denied an official registration to Viasna human rights center.
Ales Bialiatski was accused of large-scale tax evasion based on documents handed to the Belarusian prosecution by Polish and Lithuanian officials and sentenced to 4.5-year confinement in a high-security prison and confiscation of property. Moreover, Bialiatski had to pay 721 million rubles of the compensation for financial damage allegedly caused on the state, and 36 million rubles of the court expenditures (appr. $ 90,000 in total). Due to donations the necessary amount of money was raised.
At the current moment Ales Bialiatski is kept in Babruysk penal colony №2.