2008 22/10

BierascieOn 1 July a group of members of the NGO ‘Stary Horad’ (liquidated by the Belarusian authorities) addressed the UN Human Rights Committee with individual complaints.

‘Stary Horad’ was registered in 1992 ‘with the aim to support civil and cultural initiatives of Brest citizens, aimed at development and wellbeing of the city’. On 12 April 2007 Brest oblast court ruled to liquidate the NGO. The liquidation trial was initiated by Brest oblast executive committee.

As said to the BelaPAN by the human rights activist Raman Kisliak, in their individual complaints to the UN Human Rights Committee the organization members Yauhen Belasin, Iryna Laurouskaya, Siarhei Panasevich and Palina Panasiuk state that the organization was liquidated for wire-drawn reasons that were presented to the court by the justice department of Brest oblast executive committee. They also draw a number of facts to support their opinion.

In particular, one of the reasons for which ‘Stary Horad’ was liquidated was the absence of legal address, but the organization members say it is not true. One more reason is contradiction of the organization charter to the present legislation, which the plaintiffs also consider groundless. They are convinced that liquidation of their organization is an act of revenge for their public views and legal lynching of an organization that was disloyal to the authorities.

That’s why, state the organization members, this ruling violates their right to association and the right to trial by independent and objective court that are guaranteed by articles 14 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

As R.Kisliak pointed, members of ‘Stary Horad’ draw the attention of the UN committee to the fact that since 2000 tens of NGOs have been liquidated on far-fetched reasons, including Brest oblast center ‘Vezha’, Hrodna association ‘Ratusha’, Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’, Homel association ‘Civil Initiatives’, ‘Independent Society for Legal Research’, youth NGO ‘Suzoryie’

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