Supreme Court Upholds Registration Denial to Movement for Freedom
On September 20th, judge of the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against the justice ministry’s refusal to register the Movement for Freedom led by former presidential candidate Alexander Milinkevich.
The judge took sides with the ministry who claimed that the founders had failed to pay a required fee into the national budget, paying it into the local budget instead.
The plaintiff argued that the founders had paid the fee into the national budget later, adding that anyway, the ministry could have postponed the decision on the registration and given the founders time to make a proper payment. The judge ignored the argument.
Aliaksei Kavalets, one of the movement’s founders, told reporters following the hearing that one could hardly expect judges appointed by Alexander Lukashenka to give the green light to registration of an organization that would aim to promote democracy, human rights and political freedoms. He stressed that there was no independent judiciary in the country.
A founding conference for the Movement for Freedom was held in Hrodna on May 20th. The justice ministry denied registration on July 21st, referring to the improper payment and the non-compliance of the charter’s provisions with the country’s laws. The founders held another founding conference on August 11th and applied to the ministry for registration a month later one more time. On September 11th the Ministry of Justice returned the documents without consideration, claiming “it’s the same organization”.