Scholars at Risk calls for letters on behalf of Alyaksandr Fyaduta, Belarusian scholar and journalist
February 1, 2011
Additional information, copy of SAR's letters and model letter of appeal available at: http://scholarsatrisk.nyu.edu/Education-Advocacy/Alerts-Scholars-in-Prison.php.
Scholars at Risk (SAR) is gravely concerned over reports that Dr. Alyaksandr Fyaduta, a scholar, journalist and lecturer at the European Humanities University, is being held in prison. SAR asks for letters, faxes and emails urging the appropriate authorities to intervene to ensure his well-being pending his earliest release, including ensuring immediate and regular access to family, to legal counsel of his choosing and to medical treatment.
Scholars at Risk is an international network of over 240 universities and colleges in 30 countries dedicated to promoting academic freedom and its constituent freedoms of thought, opinion, expression, association and travel. In cases like Dr. Fyaduta’s involving alleged infringement of these freedoms, Scholars at Risk investigates hoping to clarify and resolve matters favorably.
Scholars at Risk has learned that Dr. Fyaduta was arrested at his home on December 20, 2010. Dr. Fyaduta has reportedly been charged with Article 293, mass riot, an accusation which stems from Dr. Fyaduta’s alleged involvement in a protest that took place in Minsk, Belarus in the aftermath of the most recent presidential election. Scholars at Risk understands that, since his arrest, he has been held in custody without access to legal counsel or to medical care. This suggests apparent disregard of international standards of due process, fair trial and detention as guaranteed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Belarus is signatory. Most alarmingly, Scholars at Risk is concerned about the treatment of the injuries Dr. Fyaduta reportedly sustained during the protest and his severe diabetic condition which requires daily medical care. In light of this, his detention without access to counsel or adequate medical support would appear to constitute a reckless disregard of his health and well-being.
Scholars at Risk therefore joins with many national and international academic associations, human rights organizations and individual scholars in respectfully urging authorities to ensure that Belarus’s obligations under international law are upheld with regard to Dr. Fyaduta. SAR respectfully urges authorities to ensure his well-being, including access to family, legal representation of his choosing, and medical treatment.