He went on to say that "this unbelievably precise thinking intellectual has been held now for over 100 days in prison. The Mafia-law being used against animal protectionists goes far outside what is admissible."
Van der Bellen described Balluch's candidateship as "An expression of appreciation for the work of non-governmental organisations."
Dr Balluch is an established intellectual who worked alongside physicist Stephen Hawking for eight years at Cambridge University. He said of his imprisonment, "Sitting here in my jail cell it's hard not to think of Guantanamo Bay. I am not a criminal. The government just don't like change and that is what our organization represent to them. They want to destroy us."