Supreme Court turns down claim by Nasha Viasna
On 22 April the Supreme Court of Belarus turned down the complaint by the founders of the Nasha Viasna human rights organization.
Judge Ihar Milto found the decision by the Ministry of Justice legal due to certain procedural violations, including inaccuracies in the founders’ lists and the organization’s Charter. Besides, state duty payment receipt lacked the name of the NGO. All other arguments of the Ministry of Justice were found legally invalid.
The court stressed that the above-mentioned flaws could not be corrected within the period of registration since the postponement of registration is not the duty but the right of the registration authority.
The Supreme Court also turned down the arguments by the Ministry claiming that Nasha Viasna’s constituent congress had been held with certain violations.
One of the founders of Nasha Viasna Valiantsin Stefanovich declared that ‘the human rights activists do not agree with the decision by the Supreme Court and are going to appeal it in the exercise of the supervisory power of Chair of the Supreme Court.’ ‘We do not agree with the decision since Paragraph 3 of Article 15 of the Law on Public Associations provides an exact and comprehensive list of grounds for possible refusal to register a public association. During the application for registration of Nasha Viasna these points were not violated. Thus, the registration authority should have granted a delay for the correction of the above-mentioned drawbacks.’
Valiantsin Stefanovich also said that Nasha Viasna was going to apply for registration for a third time this week. In case of another refusal, the human rights activists are going to stop addressing the Ministry of Justice. ‘If the state represented by the Ministry of Justice is not ready, does not want or cannot register human rights NGOs, it will be a problem for the state itself. We can perform human rights activities without official registration. It is our legal right, guaranteed by the Constitution and the international human rights standards,’ said Mr.Stefanovich.