Homel Women’s Association Initsyatyva Shut Down
On 20 August Homel regional court Judge Anatol Dudzich ruled to close down Homel Women’s Association Initsyatyva.
Initsyatyva has become the 16th NGO in the region, closed down on the request of the regional justice department. The most frequent problem was NGO legal addresses registered at private homes of their leaders. Initsyatyva has also received warnings on that ground.
NGO member, lawyer Dr. Iryna Kuchvalskaya, who represented the interests of the organization in court, believes that legal addresses are an artificially created obstacle. Most NGOs are not able to overcome it. The majority of office buildings belong to the state. There is no defined procedure of renting them to non-governmental organizations. At the same time, the resources of NGOs are insufficient for renting an office. Thus, the authorities are using the factor of legal addresses as a weapon against NGOs.