Formal Reason for “Viasna” Liquidation
At about 3 p.m. on 28 October 2003 Judge of the Supreme Court Kulik ruled to liquidate the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna”. She justified the public association on five of the six accusation points, including the forgery of signatures, non-payment of membership fees, etc. The only charge that served as a formal reason for the liquidation that during the Presidential election of 2001 “Viasna” violated the order of nomination of observers to polling stations. For this violation the Ministry of Justice punished “Viasna” by a written warning in August 2001. So, now “Viasna” is again punished for the same violation.
Here is the text of the warning and the Ruling of the Central Electoral Commission to annul accreditation to "Viasna" observers.
OF MINISTRY OF JUSTICE TO BOARD
OF PUBLIC ASSOCIATION “HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER “VIASNA”
Of 28 August 2001
In accordance with Article #25 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “About public associations” the Ministry of Justice requested from the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” the minutes of sittings of elective bodies beginning from October 2000 and the information about existence and registration of organization branches.
Minutes or acts of the revision commission and the information about the organization branches weren’t presented at all, only seven of the Board minutes (#92, 134-138, 145 and 230) were presented without the appendices, mentioned in their texts, some of the minutes had the same number and different dates and content. According to the numeration, 31 minutes are missing.
Moreover, the Ministry of Justice has been informed that the minutes for nomination of observers fail to meet the accountancy demands (minutes are not signed, the surnames of the persons about whom the decision were made are absent) and the minutes are sent to the locations where they are used.
Besides, the Ministry of Justice has received letters from a number of public associations (a considerable part of members of these associations refused to participate in the preparation of the letters) that weren’t signed by Heads of these associations or the empowered persons, by which the demands of the Applied instruction on accountancy for ministries, State committees and other central government bodies, institutions, organizations and enterprises of the Republic of Belarus, adopted by order#13 of the State committee on archives and accountancy of the Republic of Belarus of 25 May 1999 was violated.
In these circumstances the written warning is issued to the Board of the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna”.
It is necessary to inform the Ministry about the measures taken within a fortnight with presentation of the Board minutes.
We also explain that in the case of the repeated violation during the year the question about liquidation of the association can be raised.
Head of the Board of public associations
ABOUT VIOLATION OF DEMANDS OF ELECTORAL CODE
OF REPUBLIC OF BELARUS BY
PUBLIC ASSOCIATION “HUMAN RIGHTS CENTER “VIASNA”
DURING NOMINATION OF OBSERVERS
Ruling of the Central commission of the Republic of Belarus on elections and holding of republican referenda of 8 September 2001
According to part 3 of Article #13 of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus observers can be present during holding of elections in the order, defined by the Central commission of the Republic of Belarus on elections and holding of republican referenda (further referred to as Central commission). The Ruling of the Central commission of 8 June 2001 “About the order of usage of part 3 of Article #13 of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus during the preparation and holding of the election of President of the Republic of Belarus in 2001” provides that the governing bodies of political parties and other public associations have the right to direct their members as observers to sitting of all commissions of the election of President of the Republic of Belarus and to the polling stations.
The document about nomination of an observer from a public association is a minutes or an excerpt from the minutes of a sitting of the governing body. These documents are to contain the name, the address and the telephone number of the governing body of the public association, the date of the decision, surname, the first and the second name of the observe and the confirmation that he is a member of the public association that nominates him, his address, the name of the commission on elections of President of the Republic of Belarus or the number of the polling station where he is directed.
During the electoral campaign it has been found that the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” violated the established order for nomination of observers to sittings of commissions on elections of President of the Republic of Belarus and the polling stations.
For instance, the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” sent unfilled blanks of excerpts from the minutes of the Board sittings from 18 June, 1 July, 22 July and 5 August 2001 to Mahiliow and Brest regions. The mentioned blanks were then filled for the citizens about whom the decision to nominate them as observers wasn’t made and who weren’t members of the association.
Workers of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus and the Prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Belarus conducted a check-up in order to find whether the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” abided by the law when nominating observers. As a result of the check-up it was found that the Board of the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” didn’t decide to direct members of this organization to polling stations. However, the excerpts from the minutes of the sittings of the Board of 18 June, 1 July, 22 July and 5 August 2001 were presented to electoral commissions.
Besides, Pastavy District Prosecutor’s office found that the member of the member of the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” Yaholda M.V. proposed to Kishkurna A.V. to become an observer from “Belarusian organization of working women” and to Kuzmich T.P. – an observer from “Human Rights Center “Viasna”. Yaholda M.V. promised each of them 25 US dollars after the end of the election for the monitoring. Yaholda M.V. also proposed Kanash M.M. to become an observer from the Public organization “Lew Sapeha Foundation”. Kuzmin T.I., Kishkurna A.V. and Kanash M.M. explained that they weren’t members of any public associations and the excerpts from minutes of the sittings Yaholda M.V. filled in their presence.
In the same way Bartash V.S. and Loban V.N. were nominated observers from the public association [“Human Rights Center “Viasna”] to polling station commissions #30 and 46 of Navahrudak district.
So, the nomination of observers from the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” wasn’t conducted in the order, provided by the abovementioned Ruling of the Central commission. That’s why the minutes (excerpts from the minutes) of sittings of the Board of this Public association dated 18 July, 22 July and 5 August 2001 can’t be considered as documents about nomination of observers and the persons to whom such documents were given can’t be observers.
Grounding on the aforesaid and being guided by Articles #13 and 33 of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Belarus, the Central commission rules:
1. To consider the minutes (excerpts from the minutes) of the sittings of the Board of the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” of 18 June, 22 July and 5 August 2001 about nomination of observers judicially invalid.
2. To annul the accreditation of the observers the Public association “Human Rights Center “Viasna” directed on 18 June, 1 July, 22 July and 5 August 2001 by regional commissions, Minsk city commission, district, city, borough and polling station commissions.
3. The persons, deprived of the accreditation have no right to presence at sittings of territorial and polling station commissions and the polling stations.
Commission Head L. Yarmoshyna
Commission Secretary N. Lazavik