Supreme Court Rejects Opposition Communists’ Complaint
Today the Supreme Court made a decision on the complaint on the actions of the Ministry of Justice filed by the Party of Communists of Belarus. Judge Samaliuk did not find any grounds to satisfy the complaint.
Neanila Fishkina, official representative of the Ministry of Justice, refused from interviews after the hearing. He referred to the fact that she had not been authorized to comment anything.
Siarhei Kaliakin, the first secretary of the PCB Central Committee told RFE/RL he expected such a decision: “it is a shame that the supreme judicial body is not guided by laws. As far as I understand, the court decision ignores our arguments. We will continue to work. This is not the first and not the last warning. Yet it was just another proof of the fact that the whole thing was politically-motivated”. Head of the Belarusian Social Democratic Hramada observed the court hearing. He supposes that the so-called “pre-planned” check-ups by the Ministry of Justice might also cover his party: “That’s how it is in our country: if someone is under protection of the authorities, they may do whatever they want. But if the Ministry demands that we provide information about our party members, about the color of their eyes or size of their shoes, for example, -- then the Supreme Court would confirm their right to do so”.
PCB received a warning from the Ministry of Justice for refusing to provide a list of its members with personal information about each of them. The Communists in opposition think such demands are beyond the competence of the Ministry. Yesterday several witnesses confirmed during the hearing they had lost their jobs only because of their membership in the opposition political party.
Ms. Fishkina explained the demand of the Ministry by the desire to make sure that PCB has over 1000 members.
“We have to implement the court decision. Today we will provide a list of our members to the Ministry. We included only people who gave their personal agreement for that. There are 1500 people on the list. That is 1,5 times more than the number required by Article 10 of the law on Political Parties. It will prove, that we have enough members in order to work legally”, -- Siarhei Kaliakin comments.
According to the Belarusian laws, a political party may be closed down if it receives 2 written warnings during 12 months.