A birthday letter from Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, to Ales Bialiatski

On 25 September, Ales Bialiatski, founder and leader of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", celebrates his 59th birthday. Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo congratulates him in a letter!

  • by EECA
  • 1 October 2021

Translated to English from French

Dear Ales Bialiatski,

In mid-July I learned of your arrest along with several other members of Viasna, and I join the International Federation for Human Rights in expressing my wholehearted support for you during this new challenge.

I am, as many other citizens invested in the defense of human rights, worried about the recent developments in Belarus, where repression of all opposition against the current regime – whatever form it takes – has become systematic.

The arbitrary arrests of activists, their imprisonment in violation of the right to an effective defense and in inhuman conditions, but also the harm inflicted on civil society organizations, are contrary to the values we defend and to the very foundation of democracy.

I note that these unjustified repressions, which have hit the Human Rights Center Viasna particularly hard, are widely condemned by the international community.

Because you are an Honorary Citizen of Paris, I would like to tell you that I would do everything in my power to have the unacceptable decision depriving you of your freedom reversed.

Please receive, dear Ales Bialiatski, my most sincere and warmest wishes.

Warm regards,

Anne Hidalgo