30 Facts About Ales Bialiatski


Ales Viktaravich Bialiatski is a Belarusian civic leader and prisoner of conscience known for his work with the Viasna Human Rights Centre.

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In 2022, Ales Bialiatski was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize along with the organisations Memorial and Centre for Civil Liberties.

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Ales Bialiatski was born in Vyartsilya, in today's Karelia, Russia, to Belarusian parents.

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Ales Bialiatski is a scholar of Belarusian literature, graduated from Homiel State University in 1984 with a degree in Russian and Belarusian Philology.

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In December 1987 Ales Bialiatski was on the organizing committee of the 1st Assembly of Belarusian Communities.

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In 1989, Ales Bialiatski received a PhD from the Belarusian Academy of Sciences.

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Ales Bialiatski was one of the founding members of the Belarusian Popular Front and the Belarusian Catholic Community.

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In 1989, Ales Bialiatski worked as a junior researcher at the Museum of the History of the Belarusian literature.

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Ales Bialiatski left the museum in August 1998, after arranging several key exhibitions, including two in Minsk, one in the Maladziecna District and one in Yaroslavl, Russia.

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Ales Bialiatski provided the legal address for dozens of NGOs, including the Human Rights Centre “Viasna” and the Centre “Supolnasts”.

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Ales Bialiatski invited several young authors, including Palina Kachatkova, Eduard Akulin, Siarhei Vitushka, and Ales Astrautsou, to work at the museum.

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Ales Bialiatski was member of the Minsk City Council of Deputies between 1991 and 1996.

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On 5 September 1991, after the Minsk City Council approved the use of national symbols, Ales Bialiatski brought a white-red-white flag to the Council chamber.

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Ales Bialiatski was chairman of the Working Group of the Assembly of Democratic NGOs.

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Ales Bialiatski is a member of the Union of Belarusian Writers and the Belarusian PEN-Centre (since 2009).

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Ales Bialiatski pleaded not guilty, saying that the money had been received on his bank accounts to cover Viasna's human rights activities.

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Belarusian human rights activists, as well as the European Union leaders, EU governments, and the United States said that Ales Bialiatski was a political prisoner, calling his sentencing politically motivated.

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Ales Bialiatski served his sentence in penal colony number 2 in the city of Babrujsk, working as a packer in a sewing shop.

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Ales Bialiatski was repeatedly punished by the prison administration for "violation of the prison rules", and was declared a "malicious offender", which prevented him from being amnestied in 2012 and deprived him of family visits and food parcels.

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Ales Bialiatski was released from prison 20 months ahead of schedule on 21 June 2014 after spending 1, 052 days of arbitrary detention in harsh conditions, including serving periods of solitary confinement.

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On 6 October 2021, Ales Bialiatski was charged with tax evasion with a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison.

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In 2006, Ales Bialiatski won the Swedish Per Anger Prize, named for Swedish diplomat Per Anger awarded to an individual who "promotes democracy and humanitarian efforts, is characterized by active measures and initiative, works for no personal gain, takes great personal risks, displays great courage and is a role model for others".

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In 2006 Ales Bialiatski received the "Andrei Sakharov Freedom Award" by the Norwegian Helsinki Committee.

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Ales Bialiatski was awarded the prize in absentia, the award was passed to his wife Natallia Pinchuk in the US Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, on 25 September 2012.

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In 2012 Ales Bialiatski won the Lech Walesa Award for "democratisation of the Republic of Belarus, his active promotion of human rights and aid provided for persons currently persecuted by Belarusian authorities".

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Ales Bialiatski has been five times nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, including in 2006 and 2007.

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In December 2020, Ales Bialiatski was named among the representatives of the Democratic Belarusian opposition, honored with the Sakharov Prize by the European Parliament.

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In 2022, Ales Bialiatski was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize along with organisations Memorial and The Center for Civil Liberties.

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Feature film "Vyshe Neba" features an episode depicting Ales Bialiatski's arrest shown in the news of the TV channel Belarus-1 (56th minute).

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Ales Bialiatski has stated that his two major hobbies now are mushroom hunting and planting flowers.

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