Ministry of Justice denied registration to ‘Nasha Viasna’ for incomprehensible reasons

2009 2009-06-01T17:29:31+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 28 May the co-founders of the civil human rights association Nasha Viasna received the decision of the Ministry of Justice On denial of the state registration to the civil association’. The human rights defenders consider the reasons for the registration denial as unlawful.

This time, in the letter signed by the deputy minister A.Bodak the ministry draws the following facts as the reasons for non-registering the civil human rights association (CHRA):

‘Many of the founders have received administrative punishments, many of them several times, also for the violations connected with violation of the public order and the rights and liberties of other people’ and ‘there are also examples of instigation of criminal cases against certain founders of the CHRA’;


‘in the list of the founders there are some data that don’t correspond to the reality or are distorted and concern a number of persons’;

in addition, the Ministry of Justice accuses the administration of the CHRA in ‘creation of obstacles to the ministry in checking the correctness of the documents that have been submitted for registration.

‘This time in its letter about the registration denial the Ministry of Justice presented the reasons that are difficult for us even to comment, as we do not understood what is told there. For instance, it is hard to comment on the statement that the name of our association allegedly does not correspond to our charter. I can tell that in fact all remarks of the Ministry of Justice (such as our alleged counteraction to check-up of the documents, the legal address, etc.) are not based on the law of the Republic of Belarus On civil associations and cannot serve as a reason for non-registration,’ commented on the decision of the ministry a co-founder of Nasha Viasna Valiantsin Stefanovich.

Bear in mind that in its answers the Ministry of Justice has already thrice (!) referred to the fact that the founders received repeated administrative punishments.

‘They wrote it in 2007, and in the previous denial, and now they again write the same, though the court has already twice rejected it as a legal reason for registration denial, as the law does not contain such reasons. Why do they do it? I think the only reason is to discredit human rights defenders in the eyes of the Belarusian society,’ points Valiantsin Stefanovich.

Representatives of the unregistered association consider the decisions of the ministry politically motivated.

‘It is clear that all reasons and circumstances that are set forth by the Ministry of Justice are wire-drawn. They are based on insinuations (take for instance, the argument about the association’s name, which hasn’t been stated during the previous trials. It is absolutely clear that the registering organ is doing everything possible to prevent the existence of such human rights organization as our one in Belarus in legal status. That’s why it is a doubtlessly political order, politically motivated decision,’ points the legal representative of the interests of Nasha Viasna founders, lawyer Uladzimir Labkovich.

Bear in mind that it was the third attempt to get the human rights association registered. Before this the ministry refused to do it twice: in 2007 and in 2009. The previous registration denial was received on 29 February 2009. Human rights defenders appealed against it at the Supreme Court. On 22 April the court did not grant the lawsuit of the founders of Nasha Viasna against non-registration of the association by the Ministry of Justice.

‘The reasons for the registration denial are absolutely incomprehensible to me, because all pretensions of the Ministry of Justice have nothing to do with the objective reality and rather resemble of some poorly organized ravings. Taking into accounts such complete formality in the registration denial, political motivation is clearly seen here. The obstinate non-registration of the human rights association for three years is a manifestation of discrimination of the Belarusian citizens and deprival them of the right to association. The fact that the authorities are afraid to give registration to new human rights organizations witnesses that the country is too far away from improvement of the situation of democracy and human rights. However, we, human rights defenders, are going to continue our work despite the denial,’ points Ales Bialiatski.

Now the human rights defenders intend to again appeal against the ministry’s decision at the Supreme Court, and also filed a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee.

At 12 a.m. on 3 June in Nezalezhnastsi Avenue, 78a-48 in Minsk the founders of the CHRA Nasha Viasna  hold a press-conference concerning the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to register the organization.