Nobel Peace Prize Winner Ales Beliatski Sentenced to 10 Years in Belarusian Prison

Belarus Sentences Nobel Laureate Ales Beliatski to 10 Years in Prison

Belarusian court sentenced Nobel laureate and human rights activist Ales Beliatski to 10 years in prison, sparking international outrage. Beliatski, who leads the Viasna human rights centre, has been accused of tax evasion, but many believe the charges are politically motivated. The court also ordered the confiscation of his property and assets.

Beliatski has been a prominent advocate for human rights in Belarus, a country often criticised for its lack of democracy and repression of dissent. In 2011, he was awarded the prestigious Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize by the Council of Europe, and the following year, he received the John Humphrey Freedom Award from the Canadian NGO Rights & Democracy.

The international community has condemned Beliatski’s sentencing. “This is a travesty of justice, and we call on the Belarusian authorities to release Beliatski immediately and unconditionally,” said Amnesty International in a statement. The European Union also expressed its deep concern, stating that the verdict “casts a dark shadow on the systematic repression and persecution of human rights defenders”.

This sentencing comes amid increasing pressure on human rights activists in Belarus. Last year, the government cracked down on opposition leaders and protesters following disputed presidential elections. The United States and several European countries imposed sanctions on Belarusian officials in response to the crackdown.