Aleh Volchek

Aleh Volchek

Belarus

Aleh Volchek is Chairman of ‘Legal Assistance to the People’, a charitable foundation, which has 5 regional offices in Belarus. He is one of the founders of the movement ‘Defenders of Fatherland’, which unites former employees of law-enforcement, the courts, customs and other authorities who strive to uphold democratic principles and actively participate in the fight against corruption and arbitrary rule.

Volchek is a former Senior Investigator, Prosecutor’s Office of Frunzensky District, Minsk.  He has won the following awards: “Day of Human Rights Defender” by the International League of Human Rights in 1999 for consistent and courageous defence of human rights; “Prize for Bravery” of the German organization Courage Prize in 2004.

On the 27 January 2012, Volchek was arrested by the police in the street in Minsk.  On January 30, 2012, Mr. Aleh Volchek was sentenced by the Central District Court of Minsk to four days of administrative detention for allegedly using foul language in the street, under Article 17.1 of the Code of Administrative Offences on “petty hooliganism”.

The sentencing of Mr. Aleh Volchek seems to merely aim at sanctioning his human rights activities, for they seem to be connected to a report recently published by the ‘Legal Assistance to the People’ foundation, on the trial of Mr. Ales Bialiatski. Ales Bialiatski, a human rights defender, was allegedly the victim of false accusations. He was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to 4.5 years in prison.

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