Jailed human rights defender Ales Byalyatski has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, associate Valyantsin Stefanovich told BelaPAN. The activist said that the 49-year-old Byalyatski was on the short list for the award.
The chairman of a human rights group called Vyasna and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights has also been given an international human rights award titled "For Courage and Fight for Freedom." The award was collected by Palina Stsepanenka, who shot a documentary about Mr. Byalyatski's activities, at an international festival of human rights films in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on October 2.
Mr. Byalyatski has been in detention since August 4.
On August 12, he was formally charged with large-scale tax evasion, an offense that carries a penalty of a “restricted freedom” term of up to five years or a prison term of three to seven years.
The charge against the activist stems from information about Mr. Byalyatski’s bank accounts abroad, which is said to have been provided by authorities in a number of European countries.
Mr. Byalyatski’s associates insist that the money in his bank accounts abroad should not be viewed as his personal income, as it was contributed by various foundations and intended to finance Vyasna’s activities.