ACTIONS AGAINST NGOs BROUGHT AND SUSPENDED BY ORDER. Participants of NGO Public Hearings Discussed Issues of Liquidation, Registration, and Re-registration of Non-governmental Organization on 26 May.
On 26 May representatives of many Belarusian NGOs gathered to discuss the issues of liquidation, registration, and re-registration of non-governmental organizations. The members of the Chamber of Representatives, representatives of the OSCE office, and mass media joined the discussion. The organizers personally invited each member of the Commission for Registration and Re-registration of NGOs, but none of them appeared at the public hearings.
The participants discussed the legislation regulating the issues of NGO registration and the problems involved. The impossibility to appeal against decisions of the commission, which takes final decisions about registration (non-registration) of NGO, made the representatives especially upset. The fact is, that such decisions are taken secretly.
M. Sukhinin, head of NGOs Department of the Ministry of Justice, declared conformity of the legislation which regulates the registration procedures with the Constitution, and the international acts in the sphere of human rights, ratified by the Republic of Belarus. Sukhinin pointed out, that recent facts of NGOs liquidation are not politically motivated. According to Sukhinin, simultaneous liquidation of 4 NGOs is just a coincidence.
Another interesting story was raised during the hearing. MP Valery Fralow announced that he had addressed the Minister of Justice with the letter about liquidation of four organizations. The reply, dated 21 May and signed by the deputy Minister, contained the following: “By instructions of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Belarus, the proceedings in Homel, Brest, and Hrodna regional courts on liquidation of the mentioned non-governmental organizations are suspended. The case materials are requested by the Ministry of Justice for examination”. At the same time a representative of Homel regional NGO “Civic Initiatives” announced that Homel regional court had had a hearing on liquidation of their NGO on 23 May. The only explanation to the situation could be the following: the actions against NGOs are brought by order, and suspended by order as well.
In the end of the discussion the participants passed a resolution, the main idea of which is that the third sector representatives hope to see the Ministry of Justice not as a punitive body, and are eager to look for possibilities to cooperate.