Refusal to register ‘Nasha Viasna’ is a manifestation of systematic and purposeful discrimination of human rights activists
On 2 March 2009 the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus decided to deny the state registration to the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna, the successor of the liquidated civil association Human Rights Center ‘Viasna’.
We, founders of the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna state that the registration denial:
- is groundless and unlawful;
- is an open manifestation of systematic politically motivated discrimination of the founders and members of the organization;
- is a violation of our constitutional right to association;
- violates the international undertakings in the sphere of human rights, ratified by the Republic of Belarus;
- witnesses the non-readiness of the Belarusian authorities to make system changes aimed at further liberalization in the country.
We believed that the registration of the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna will be a compensation for violation of our right to association by liquidation of the Human Rights Center Viasna in October 2003. On 24 June 2007 the UN Human Rights Committee confirmed that the authorities had violated our rights in this case and ruled that we had the right to adequate means of defense, including renewal of the registration of the organization and compensation. By its decision the Committee also obliged the authorities to take measures for prevention of similar violations in future. The systematic nature of discrimination towards us is confirmed by the fact that it is already the second time when we receive a registration denial: the Ministry of Justice took a similar decision for the first time in September 2007.
We are of the opinion that by refusing to register the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna the state authorities of Belarus not only demonstrated disrespect to rights of the country’s citizens, but also cynically ignored the international undertakings of Belarus in the sphere of human rights.
Founders of the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna Ales Bialiatski, Uladzimir Labkovich, Tatsiana Reviaka and Valiantsin Stefanovich.