Norwegian Helsinki Committee and “Human Rights Watch” Speak of “Viasna” at OSCE “Human Dimension” Implementation Meeting
In their statements, read at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting held in Warsaw, “Human Rights Watch” and Norwegian Helsinki Committee” mentioned “Viasna”.
Here are the excerpts:
From the statement Norwegian Helsinki Committee:
In Belarus, the harassment of NGOs, threats against human rights defenders and new governmental regulations amount to a new orchestrated campaign against civil society. In 2003, a number of NGOs have been closed down for alleged violations of regulations relating to foreign aid and rules on registration.
From the statement of “Human Rights Watch”
A referendum is planned in Belarus for autumn 2003 on allowing President Alexander Lukashenka to run for a third term of office. It has coincided with yet another round of government tightening of control over civil society. We are particularly concerned about Viasna, a domestic NGO that engages in election monitoring. The government has filed suit against Viasna on arbitrary charges based on wrongdoing the organization had allegedly done four years ago. The timing and nature of the charges point to the government’s political motives in bringing the suit.