Ales Bialiatski, the imprisoned leader of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights, has been bestowed Honorary Freedom (Citoyen d’honneur) of the City of Paris, after his nomination was supported by the Council of the city’s 11th arrondissement and the Mayor’s Office.
“Ales Bialiatski is a prominent Belarusian human rights defender sentenced by the justice of his country in 2011 to four and a half years’ imprisonment in a strict regime, after an unfair trial. Ales Bialiatski fought for the defense of Human Rights without rest, despite threats and defamation campaign by the state,” says the official communication released by Paris’ City Council on 16 October.
Ales Bialiatski is the second Belarusian national to be awarded the title, after Professor Yury Bandazheuski was bestowed Honorary Freedom back in 2003.
In 2010, Ales Bialiatski received a similar title from the municipal authorities of the Italian city of Genoa.