STRASBOURG, September 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Council of Europe on Monday awarded the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize to Belarusian civil rights activist Ales Bialiatski, imprisoned on tax evasion charges that his supporters have called politically motivated.
Bialiatski, head of the human rights center Viasna, was arrested two years ago by Belarusian authorities and sentenced to 4 1/2 years behind bars. The court also ordered the confiscation of his property.
His wife, Natallia Pinchuk, accepted the €60,000 prize on Monday, the first day of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s fall session.
The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, which aims to reward “outstanding civil society action in the defense of human rights in Europe and beyond,” is awarded each year by the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Vaclav Havel Library and the Charta 77 Foundation.
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