Were actions of the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice accidental?
As expected, the arrest of the head of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" Ales Bialiatsky provoked a storm of indignation throughout the world.
Even the previous day International Observation Mission reacted sharply on the arrest. The then the Assembly of Non-governmental democratic organizations in Belarus (registered in Lithuania) made a statement in which it demanded that Belarusian authorities release the well-known human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky. In the statement it is stressed that the leadership of the Assembly appeals to EU countries, so that they refrain from action, "encouraging the repressive bodies of Belarus for their unlawful and politically motivated pressure upon human rights activists". The leadership notes that the authorities "contradict to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international obligations and the Constitution of Belarus, they are unacceptable and shameful for the country ". International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) also appealed to the Belarusian authorities, "for the immediate and unconditional release of " Bialiatsky. The German Government has demanded the immediate release of Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky, who was detained and taken into custody in the evening on August 4. This was announced on August 5 by the federal government commissioner for human rights Markus Lening. U.S. government also voiced its concern over this arrest. The detention of prominent Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatsky was also disapproved by the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis, acting chairman of OSCE. He called the official Minsk to release all political prisoners and civil society activists immediately. Belarus must implement its OSCE commitments in the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which were confirmed at the highest level in December 2010 at the OSCE summit in Astana. And we would like to pay special attention to this statement. The fact is that immediately after the arrest of the prominent Belarusian human rights activist, quotig www.Euramost.org, the head of the "Free Theatre" Nikolay Khalezin accused the Lithuanian side in the transfer of the data of bank accounts belonging to human rights activists, public organizations and individuals to the Belarusian side. In the statement accusing the arrest of Bialiatski the Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis said nothing on this occasion. Other officials of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry didnít comment this case. And there even appeared information that some Lithuanian individual banks could transfer this information to Belarus directly, without coordinating the matter with their government. There even appeared information that the data on financial transactions of Human Rights Center "Viasna" was transferred to Belarusian law enforcement bodies by the decision of Lithuanian government. In this regard, the press service of the Lithuanian president immediately reported that the administration of the Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite, was not informed of the decision to transfer the data on the accounts of the human rights center "Viasna " to the Belarusian side. But everything turned out to be quite prosaic and banal: the information on bank accounts of 400 citizens of Belarus was transferred to the Belarusian side ... by the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania. This was announced today at a press conference in Vilnius by the Deputy Minister of Justice of Lithuania Tomas Voytkevichus. Quoting the deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valentin Stefanovich, information on bank accounts was transferred in March of this year. In early July, Stefanovich and Ales Bialiatsky were called to the tax office, where the defenders were shown printouts of bank accounts from bank SEB i NORD. Stefanovich and Bialiatsky required indicating the source where the tax inspection got these documents from. "We received these documents recently, which says that the information was obtained from the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania within the framework of agreements on legal assistance in civil, family and criminal cases between Belarus and Lithuania", - said Stefanovich. Itís that simple - democracy, the existence of political prisoners, the violation of civil rights and liberties, apparently mean nothing to the officials, bureaucrats, when it comes about corporative mutual help. We wonder what comes next. Especially against the background of a global public reaction to the arrest of Bialiatsky? Will the president of Lithuania and the senior management of this country think that their Justice Ministry got it wrogly? Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valentin Stefanovich regarded these actions as a misunderstanding of the Lithuanian side, which Lithuania would regret about. And will it be noticeable for officials of Lithuanian Ministry of Justice? Will they apologize at least to those 400 citizens of Belarus, whose information on bank accounts they transferred to Belarus? And anyway, how accidental were the actions of the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice?