Human Rights Center Viasna

Areas of Work

The Human Rights Center Viasna (‘Spring’ in Belarusian) is the leading human rights organisation in Belarus. It has been working on the protection of civil and political rights in the country since 1996. The organisation focuses on the abolition of the death penalty, as well as on the end of torture, ill-treatment and political persecution. It regularly conducts independent elections monitoring and works towards the protection of freedom of assembly and association, freedom of media and expression, and ethnic minorities. In reprisal for its work, Viasna was deprived of its NGO status. Seven of its members, including its head Ales Bialiatski, were imprisoned in the aftermath of the disputed August 2020 presidential election, due to Viasna's work on behalf of victims of torture by law enforcement. They are still detained as of September 2021. Viasna has received numerous human rights awards and international support.