Belarusian Human Rights Organization “Legal Assistance to Population” Liquidated
At about 4 p.m. on 8 September Natallia Zhupikava, Judge of Minsk City Court, ruled to liquidate the public association “Legal Assistance to Population”.
The trial of “Legal Assistance to Population” was to have started on 5 September, but the office room of Natallia Zhupikava was too small for all the persons who wished to attend the trial. The defendants, in their turn, insisted that all the persons who wanted to get to the trial were to be provided with such possibility. That’s why Judge postponed the trial to 8 September.
However, on 8 September the trial was conducted in the same room. The police convoy let in only the OSCE representatives, workers of the Justice Ministry and defendants. The rest, including representatives of Belarusian human rights and other public organizations, foreign embassies, wives of the missing journalist and the businessman, Sviatlana Zavadskaya and Iryna Krasowskaya, journalists and ordinary citizens had to stand at the entrance. The defendants, including Aleh Volchak, Head of “Legal Assistance to Population”, refused to participate in the “open trial” and stayed with the people outside.
Soon it was found out that Judge, ignoring the absence of the defendants conducted the trial and ruled to satisfy the suit of the Justice Ministry for the liquidation the public association “Legal Assistance to Population”.