Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

Belarus: UN calls on authorities to ensure well-being of detained rights defender

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 5 August 2011
Cite as UN News Service, Belarus: UN calls on authorities to ensure well-being of detained rights defender, 5 August 2011, available at: [accessed 29 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The United Nations today voiced its concern about the arrest of the prominent Belarusian human rights defender Ales Bialatski and called on authorities to guarantee his well-being.

Mr. Bialatski is the President of Viasna, a human rights centre, and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights. He was arrested yesterday in the capital, Minsk, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

"His whereabouts were initially unknown but it is now confirmed that he is in police custody," Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for OHCHR in Geneva, told reporters.

"Given the many worrying reports of harassment of human rights defenders in Belarus, we call on the authorities to guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of [Mr.] Bialatski and all human rights defenders in Belarus," she stated.

Ms. Shamdasani recalled that the Government of Belarus is obliged, by the international treaties which it has ratified, to ensure respect for the rights and freedoms of human rights defenders.

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