Vaclav Havel Founds Association in Support of Belarusian Opposition
On 6 June the presentation of the international association Civil Belarus took place in the Senate of Czech Republic in Prague. The association was established for support to Belarusian NGOs that are pressurized by the authorities or were liquidated by them. Among the founders are Vaclav Havel and many other well-known Czech politicians and former dissidents.
The representatives of HRC Viasna who were invited to Prague told the present public about the last trials of oppositional activists and pointed out it was very important to feel they weren’t left alone. The human rights activist Palina Stsiepanienka said that in all trials of NGOs that were initiated by the Ministry of Justice the court took the side of the authorities.
Speaking about the aims of the new association the well-known Czech dissident Jan Ruml emphasized that its aim was to be a juridical umbrella for the NGOs whose activity is prohibited in Belarus.
Civil Belarus will be registered in Czech and in Brussels (for the EU) and activists of the prohibited Belarusian organizations will be its representatives in Belarus. According to Havel, support to Belarusian NGOs will foster the improvement of the general mood not only in Belarus, but in other post-Soviet countries as well.
The meeting in the Senate was attended by workers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic, representatives of the Council of Belarusian People’s Republic and Belarusian students who study in Prague.