Ales Bialiatski wins first Vaclav Havel Prize
The most famous Belarusian human rights defender, Ales Bialiatski, has been awarded the 2013 Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize. Ales Bialiatski is the president of the Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). In November 2011, he was sentenced to 4,5 years in prison for tax-evasion in a politically motivated trial.
“This [prize] is an appreciation of the many years of his human rights activism, his principled position, heroism, his openly standing up for human rights and freedom of his people, as well as his love of Belarus,” Bialiatski’s wife, Natalia Pinchuk, said when accepting the prize on his behalf.
Ales Bialiatski recently turned 51 in prison and has dedicated the past twenty years to the defense of human rights not only in Belarus but also internationally.
“In his daily fight against violations of human rights and against injustice, arbitrariness, and authoritarianism, he worked without respite so that the citizens of Belarus one day can enjoy European standards,” Jean Claude Mignon, chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said when announcing the award in Strasbourg.
The Vaclav Havel Prize is awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in partnership with the Vaclav Havel Library in Prague and the Czech Charter 77 Foundation. The amount of the prize is 81,000 USD.
Tags: Ales Bialiatski, PACE, Vaclav Havel Prize, and Viasna.