Independent Society of Legal Research Sues against Warnings of Justice Ministry
On 4 November the complaints of the Independent Society of Legal Research against the two warnings, issued to it by the Justice Board of Minsk City Executive Committee. The ISLR representatives are of opinion that both warnings were issued for wire-drawn reasons with considerable violations of the acing legislation. If Minsk City Court defeats the ISLR suit at its next sitting, it will be a hundred percent guarantee for closure of one more NGO in Belarus.
According to the Radio “Liberty” correspondent Henadz Kesner, on that day Minsk City Court was listening to the arguments in defense of ISLR, which had received two warnings from Minsk CEC Justice Board, like many other organizations of the “third sector”, and now faced the danger of liquidation.
The first warning was issued for the alleged hindrance to the activity of the State officials Kharyton and Bondar during the check-up of the public organization “Next Stop New Life”. They called hindrance the telephone talk between the State official Kharyton and the citizen Tankachova while Kharyton tried to receive the whole corpus of the organizational documentation for the check-up from the “Next Stop New Life” member who was incompetent. Alena Tankachova considered it as an illegal action and expressed her view in the telephone talk.
The second warning was issued for the article “Order of Check-ups by Registering Bodies”, prepared by the member of ISLR Board Smalianka for the bulletin of the Assembly of Democratic NGOs. There she described how representatives of State bodies should conduct check-ups to conform with the legislation. The Justice Board for some reason considered this publication as a violation of the Code of Administrative Violations, though, according to the legislation, only private individuals can be administratively punished. According to Alena Tankachova, the Society members have informed the court about it:
We asked the court to set aside the written warnings and make the Justice Board pay the State fee. We also asked the court to give a personal determination to the officials Kharyton and Shcharbovich for frivolous explanation of the law by which they violated Article #7 of the Constitution where it is said that State officials must act in strict conformity with the Constitution and the laws that are based on it. If the officials of the Justice Ministry let themselves such frivolous explanations, what moral and professional right do they have to demand abidance by every point of the law about public organizations?
The next sitting of the court will take place At 2.30 p.m. on 5 November.