Ministry of Justice demands that the public association Belarusian Factory of Thoughts be suspended for three months
On 24 January the Supreme Court started to deal with a suit filed by the ministry, which requires suspension of the Belarusian Factory of Thoughts. The organization was founded in June 1997 by large think-tanks of the country, which united 18 research organizations in Minsk and other regions.
Recently some of the founding organizations were liquidated by the authorities in a court of law: The International Institute of Political Research, the Belarusian Center of Constitutionalism and Comparative Legal Research, the Independent Institute of Social, Economic and Political Research.
Prof. Aleh Manaieu, the head of the Belarusian Factory of Thoughts, notes that the organization is accused of having a legal address on residential premises, however, transferring the legal address onto non-residential premises is impossible under current conditions: “I think that this sitting will be the start of the process ( I do not know how much time it will take - I do not think much) aimed at liquidating this respected non-governmental organization".
However, Mr. Manaieu asked the court to reject the suit filed by the officials - he believes that the suspension of yet another non-governmental public organization will contribute to a divide of the community and will destabilize the situation in the country. He emphasized that the main goal of the association is to promote development of civil society and democracy.