Statement on Nasha Viasna registration
On 26 January 2009 the Nasha Viasna human rights organization applied for registration to the Ministry of Justice of Belarus.
The decision by the Supreme Court of Belarus of 28 January 2003 to liquidate the human rights center Viasna was an outrage against the freedom of association, guaranteed by the Belarusian Constitution and international human rights agreements. On 24 June 2007 the UN Human Rights Committee adopted a resolution, stating that by closing down Viasna the Belarusian authorities violated Article 22-1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In its resolution the UNHCC confirmed Viasna’s right to adequate means of legal protection, including re-registration and compensation. It also obliged the Belarusian government to take precautions against similar violations in future.
Guided by the Committee’s decision, Members of the human rights center Viasna declared that the official registration of the organization would be an adequate compensation for the rights violated by the authorities, and in August 2007 applied for registration of the human rights association Viasna. However, the Belarusian government failed to correct its fault and ignored the decision by an authoritative international structure by showing contempt of the rights of its citizens and international commitments. The Ministry of Justice and later the Supreme Court of Belarus denied the right to found an association due to trivial and groundless reasons.
Making another attempt to obtain state registration from the Ministry of Justice, the founders of the human rights association Nasha Viasna call upon the Belarusian authorities to maintain the constitutional rights of Belarusian citizens, as well as its international commitments in the field of human rights.
In case Nasha Viasna is denied registration due to trivial and groundless reasons, the founders of the association will consider it as an evidence of a systematic political discrimination by the Republic of Belarus and its inability to introduce comprehensive changes, aimed at further liberalization of its political and civil system, including the filed of the freedom of association.
Founders of the Public Human Rights Association Nasha Viasna:
Minsk, 26 January 2009