Liquidation Trials of “Kassiopeya” and “Women’s Answer” Have Started
Based on information of Radio “Liberty”
On 7 October at the Supreme Court of Belarus the trials on liquidation of two women’s associations, the “Kassiopeya” Fund and the “Women’s Answer” organization, have started.
The Ministry of Justice charges them with violations of the legislation that regulates the activity of public organizations. Heads of the organizations consider such accusations groundless and politically motivated.
In the beginning of the court sitting on the liquidation of the “Kassiopeya” Fund Mr. Samaliuk, Judge of the Supreme Court of Belarus, asked the representative of the Ministry of Justice Aliaksandr Kharyton whether the case could be solved without the trial, to which the official answered that the voluntary settlement was impossible.
Kharyton’s charges are the following: the Fund uses the juridical address, registered in a private flat, the organization blanks doesn’t contain all the necessary requisites, one of the Fund assemblies is ineligible, the symbols of the organization on the seal and the blank aren’t in color, etc. The official also accuses “Kassiopeya” of cooperation with the unregistered association “Assembly of Non-Governmental Organizations”.
The Ministry of Justice warned the Fund on 4 August and ordered it to liquidate the law violations within a month’s limit, but on 12 August they filed the liquidation suit as, to their mind, the Fund authorities weren’t going to correct the violations.
The Head of “Kassiopeya” Valiantsina Sviatskaya and the vice-Head Halina Siamdzianava disproved the accusations of the Ministry of Justice. Aliaksandr Kharyton refused to answer many sharp questions, asked by the women. As a result Judge postponed the case consideration to 8 October, as the sides solicited for attachment of a number of important documents to the case.
Valiantsina Sviatskaya commented the trial thusly: “Mr. Kharyton’s witness that he executes the order for liquidation of those public associations that have no appeal to the present authorities. That’s why all of his views and explanations for violations look scholastic and groundless.”
Some of the most active Belarusian public organizations have been already liquidated. On 14 October the first sitting on liquidation of “Lutskevich Brothers Foundation” will take place, on 21 October – “Human Rights Center “Viasna”. The suit for liquidation of “Independent Association of Juridical Research” has also been filed. Homel authorities want to close the local “Association of Children and Youth”. The attempt of Belarusian Helsinki Committee to complain against the warning of the Justice Ministry was fruitless. This organization can be liquidated any moment as well.