The International Day of Solidarity was launched to mark the day when in2011 Ales Bialiatski, a well-known Belarusian human rights activist, was arrested. “We will celebrate this day annually. Until the conditions of the civil society in Belarus will change: until they stop putting to the prison people for human rights activities and until basic fundamental freedom are provided: freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and of association” (from the Manifest of Day of Solidarity).
Today Ales Bialiatski is free and comments on the current situation in Belarus, and his hopes for the future in this video. He was imprisoned for almost 3 years, following an unfair trial on politically motivated charges. On 21 June 2014 Ales was pardoned and returned to his human rights work after more than 1000 days of imprisonment.
At the same time the situation in Belarus has not changed during those past years. The Belarusian authorities continue to regard their international obligations as purely declarative: the country still has the death penalty, people continue to be thrown into prison on political motives, the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly remain restricted.