"The court case and verdict against Belarus human rights activist Ales Bialiatski are a tragedy," says chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen. 
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is deeply concerned about Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski's situation, after he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 3 March. 
"Ales Bialiatski is the leading fighter for democracy, freedom and human rights in Belarus. The court case and the accusations against him are politically motivated," says Berit Reiss-Andersen.
Ales Bialiatski has worked to promote democracy and human rights in Belarus since the 1980s. He has been called a beacon of light for these efforts throughout Eastern Europe. He has devoted his life to promoting democracy and peaceful development in his home country. 
"The conviction is a tragedy for Bialiatski personally. However, the verdict shows that the current regime uses all means to suppress its critics," says Berit Reiss-Andersen.