CLOSED NGOS ORGANIZE PROTEST ACTION
On September 25 at 8.30 a.m. NGOs participating in Our Solidarity campaign carried out an action of protest against liquidation of non-governmental organizations in Belarus.
About 50 members of NGOs, which have been closed down or are in the process of liquidation, participated in the action. The goal of the action was to demonstrate disagreement with the Justice Ministry’s actions which only executes the political orders of the authorities.
People in white mantles with names of the liquidated organizations on them created a “live corridor” at the entrance to the Justice Ministry. During 30 minutes they silently watched the Ministry officials and employees going to work. Viktar Halavanaw, Justice Minister, had to walk through the corridor of people as well. He asked Viasna chairperson Ales Bialatski “What is it? A picket?”, and the security guard: “Have you called the police already?”.
Mikhail Sukhinin, head of the Ministry’s Department for NGOs, asked: “Why are you standing here?”, Bialatski answering: “We came to look in your eyes”. The Ministry employees felt very uncomfortable walking through the live corridor, many tried to get round it. The police watched the action but detained nobody.
Members of the following NGOs took part in the action: “Vezha” (Brest), “Ratusha” (Hrodna), “Civic Initiatives” (Homel), “Education Center “Post”, “Independent Society of Legal Research” (Minsk), Human Rights Center “Viasna”, Belarusian Students Association, and Legal Assistance to Public.
Our Solidarity campaign initiated my NGO members of the Assembly of NGOs began in May 2003.