A Moral Voice for the Belarus Cause: The meaning of the Ales Bialiatski trial

The trial of Belarusian human rights defender and prominent civil society leader Ales Bialiatski is slated to begin on 2 November in Minsk. It has the potential to ignite the fight for freedom in Belarus,  but only with  more creative coordination and long-term planning by international civil society.

Belarusian human rights defender and FIDH Vice President Ales Bialiatski’s August arrest on tax evasion charges and his subsequent two month detention represents the untold scandal de jure of the EU fringe and the reality of a continent torn between vibrant inclusive democracies at one end of the spectrum and on the other, authoritarian regimes presided over by macho oligarchs. Consequently, as events surrounding the impending 2 November trial of Belarus’s most prominent civil society leader reach a head, a moment emerges in which Belarus could become a true cause. Continue reading

Voices of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan civil society heard at the UN

Limited information and awareness of the notorious violations of human rights in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan reaches the international community. To combat this, CIVICUS recently helped to support local civil society representatives to visit the UN in Geneva and get their voices heard.

Both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are notorious violators of human rights — in particular, the rights of citizens to freely represent their views, the rights of religious people to conduct religious instruction and to bear religious materials, and the rights of reporters to go about their jobs. The result of speaking out against the regimes of both countries is often long prison sentences in which torture is a daily reality. Continue reading