Human Rights Activists Meet with First Deputy Minister of Justice Aliaksandr Petrash
On 21 August the human rights activists Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich and Valiantsin Stefanovich had a personal audience with the first deputy minister of Justice Aliaksandr Petrash. First of all, they were interested in the process of registration of the human rights NGO Viasna. Bear in mind that on 23 July the initiative group of human rights activists filed with the Ministry of Justice a packet of documents for registration of the public human rights association Viasna and in two days the Ministry of Justice must announce its decision.
During the talk Ales Bialiatski turned the deputy minister’s attention to the international aspect of the registration: ‘The attention of the international community is turned to the issue of registration. It anxiously waits for positive steps that could confirm the intention of the Belarusian authorities to normalize relations with the civil society. Thus, we clearly point that registration of Viasna is not only an internal affair of the state, but also an indicator of openness of the Belarusian authorities to wide cooperation with foreign states’.
The human rights activists also passed to Mr. Petrash a copy of the English text of the ruling of the UN Human Rights Committee to find the liquidation of the Human Rights Center Viasna in 2003 illegal and a translation of this document into Belarusian.
The lawyers Uladzimir Labkovich and Valiantsin Stefanovich emphasized that the Belarusian human rights activists strongly associate the registration of the human rights NGO with the general situation of human rights in Belarus.
The chair of the liquidation HRC, vice-president of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Viasna Ales Bialiatski also informed Aliaksandr Petrash that in October the FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen intends to pay an official visit to Belarus in order to discuss the issue of activity of NGOs in the country. The first deputy ministry of justice answered to the human rights activists that the Ministry of Justice would attentively consider their proposals.