IT’S TIME TO RENAME JUSTICE BODIES FROM REGISTERING TO LIQUIDATING ONES
Only 10 national NGOs were registered in 2003, informed Minister Viktar Halavanaw during the board session on the results of the Ministry’s work in 2003.
The Minister pointed out that 1464 non-governmental organizations applied for registration in 2003. 94 of them (6%) received official registration, including 23 NGOs with the international status. On 1 January 2004 18 political parties, 52 national trade unions, and 2214 non-governmental organizations were registered in Belarus. Viktar Halavanaw pointed out, in 2003 the justice bodies enhanced control of the NGO activities in 2003 and carried out comprehensive check-ups of 81 NGOs. On the results of the check-ups the justice bodies revealed various violations and issued 810 warnings to the governing bodies of these organizations. This is 6 times more than in 2002. Courts satisfied the justice bodies requests to liquidate 51 NGOs.
"It’s high time to rename our justice bodies from registering to liquidating ones. Only 10 national-level NGOs during the whole year! This is comparable to the number of "NGOs" registered during the Soviet time", -- comments Yury Chavusaw, coordinator of the NGOs Joint Defense System". Chavusaw is sure, the Belarusian authorities "outwitted themselves". "Having no obligations before a registering body, public activists will focus on their goals and activities. Their activities have become a lot closer to the people, -- says Chavusaw, -- We should give the Justice Ministry the credit that in 2003 the civil society sector lost all illusions about possibilities to cooperate with the state authorities, and got rid of the fear to lose the legal status".