Updated at 11:56,07-12-2016

Alies Bialiacki forced to pay court fee before appealing again

The court set the fee of $425 for the imprisoned human right activist earning $8 per month.

The Board of the Minsk City Court decided that the imprisoned human rights defender Alies Bialiacki must pay a state fee of Br3,506,000 ($425) before his next appeal may be considered.

As Mr. Bialiacki's associate Valiancin Stefanovich told that the defense team called on the city court's board to exempt the rights defender from the fee because he was paid only Br70,000 (ca. $8) per month in prison and his entire property had been seized by the authorities. However, the court turned down the request.

On November 24, 2011, a judge of the Pershamayski District Court in Minsk sentenced Mr. Byalyatski, the 49-year-old leader of a human rights group called Vyasna and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights, to four and a half years in prison on a charge of large-scale tax evasion.

The charge stemmed from information about Mr. Byalyatski's bank accounts abroad, which was provided by authorities in Lithuania and Poland. During his trial, Mr. Byalyatski insisted that the money transferred by various foundations to his bank accounts abroad had been intended to finance Vyasna's activities and therefore could not be viewed as his income.

Prior to the hearing, his wife, Natallya Pinchuk, transferred 757.5 million rubels ($90,400) to the account of the Pershamayski District Court to pay what her husband had been ordered to pay in his criminal case, including his alleged debt, penalties and litigation costs.

Mr. Byalyatski is serving his prison term in Correctional Institution No. 2 in Babruysk, Mahilyow region, where he works as a packer at the prison’s sewing shop.