2011 05/04

Board Assembly Democratic NGOs of Belarus issued a statement to express its concern over the situation concerning the Minsk office of the Belarusian Popular Front opposition party. The matter is that the utility services of the Savetski district of Minsk refused to extend the rent agreement for the BPF office in Masherau Avenue, 8, occupied by the party for over 20 years.

However, as noted in the statement of the Assembly of NGOs, “the significance of this office for the public life of Belarus is hard to overestimate. It is a center of cultural and socio-political activity where exhibitions, artistic performances, concerts, presentations and meetings with creative people take place.”

In this case, the Assembly of NGOs considers the non-extension of the rent agreement only as an attempt to liquidate an island of freedom in the Belarusian capital, as well as a severe blow to the civil society in Minsk and the whole country.

“We demand that the Minsk City Executive Committee extends the rent agreement. Especially, for Masherov Avenue, 8 are legal addresses several social and political organizations and their organizational structures. This BPF, the Conservative Christian Party – BPF, PA BPF. And the deprivation of the premises and registered address can lead to the elimination of the mentioned organizations. Such as, for example happened three years ago with the Brest historical and cultural association of “Old Town”, which had no permanent office space, “- said the head of the Executive Office Sergei Lisichenok.

In its statement the Assembly draws attention to the fact that such problems in Belarus are systemic, which proves that the authorities interfere with activities of public associations by creating promises with the rent of premises.

Thus, the Board of the Assembly of NGOs called on other organizations and the international community for solidarity, because the BPF office is one of the oldest centers of social activity in Belarus.

Source: spring96.org

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