Tatiana Revyaka, Human Rights Center «Viasna», Human Rights House of Boris Zvoskov

What was important in the life of civil society in Belarus over the last year?

Over the past year the civil society of Belarus came from the «licking wounds» applied at the end of 2010 and 2011, and was able to continue effective work in different directions. It is very important for me to realize that the destruction of civil society has failed, that our colleagues from different organizations, despite unfavorable situation, not only broke up and fled, but also strengthened in respects their professionalism.

Especially I would like to mention our human rights sector. Of course, to say that we have made significant progress, and the human rights situation in the country has improved - would not be true, but then which initiatives, which activities they engage, with what persistence, it’s all suggests that in many respects they do not give the situation much worse.

I should note that if the authorities wanted to intimidate human rights defenders and to silence them by arrest of Ales Bialiatski, - this calculation failed.

We can not afford to be weak and cowardly against the background of dedication, inflexibility and intransigence, which gives us an example of Ales, being in the most difficult conditions of prison isolation.

His «insistence on truth» keeps us the strength and desire to continue the work for which he is deprived of his liberty. I think that in these two years, each of the human rights defenders, and not only Belarusian, is ready to say: «We are all  Ales.» It is very important, for me personally, to Ales felt it.