Supreme Court Turns Down Complaint of Human Rights Defenders about Registration of Viasna
On October 26th judge of the Supreme Court Sviatlana Yakhnavets announced the decision on the complaint of V. Stefanovich, U. Labkovich, and A. Bialiatski, who asked to cancel the ruling of the Ministry of Justice about the denial of state registration to the organization and oblige the Ministry to register “Viasna”.
Despite the fact that during the trial the human rights defenders refuted practically all arguments of the Ministry, and representative of the Ministry failed to answer numerous questions of the founders, the Supreme Court decided in favor of the Ministry of Justice. The complaint of the human rights defenders was turned down. The Supreme Court gave the following reasons: presence of the word “Viasna” in the titles of the closed down and new organization (“Human Rights Center Viasna” and “Viasna”), and the phrase on the bank letter of payment (“registration fee” instead of “state duty”).
The decision of the Supreme Court about the closure of the Human Rights Center “Viasna” was made four years ago – On October 28th, 2003. During the present hearing the human rights defenders attached the materials of the UN Committee for Human Rights, which recognize liquidation of Viasna illegitimate and violating the Convention on Civic and Political Rights. The Committee made this decision in July 2007 and suggested that the Belarusian government should improve the situation in the course of 90 days. However, as we see, the Belarusian authorities completely ignore recommendations of international organizations: in stead of compensating the violated right to freedom of association (that could be re-registration of Viasna), they again violate the right to freedom of association in the same way.