Detained Since: July 14, 2021
Charges: Tax evasion.
Sentence: Seven years in prison.
Biography: Ales Bialiatski is a prominent Belarusian human-rights defender, pro-democracy advocate, and chair of the Human Rights Center, Viasna. He was arrested in central Minsk, Belarus, on August 4, 2011 on charges of tax evasion. On November 24, 2011, he was imprisoned for four-and-a-half years on charges of “concealment of income on a large scale”. He was released on June 21, 2014.
Bialiaski is a five time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the recipient of multiple human rights advocate awards including the 2020 Right Livelihood Award, the 2020 Sakharov Prize, and the 2012 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize.
On July 14, 2021 Bialiatski, along with two other employees of the Viasna Human Rights Center, were arrested following a series of raids and searches of the Center's office and employee's homes. On October 6, 2021 Bialiatski was once again charged with tax evasion and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
On October 7, 2022 Bialiatski was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. In addition to Bialiatski, human rights organizations Memorial, of Russia, and Center for Civil Liberties, of Ukraine, were also recipients of the award.
Advocacy Partner: PEN America
- On October 7, 2022 Bialiatski became one of three 2022 Nobel Peace Prize laureates. Bialiatski and human rights organizations Memorial and Center for Civil Liberties were awarded the prize for their work as "three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence" (October 7, 2022, Associated Press).