Prosecutor’s office states there are no grounds for abolishing Article 193.1
The international association Civic Belarus (registered in the Czech Republic) has received an answer to their appeal from the General Prosecutor’s office of Belarus.
In its address Civic Belarus proposed to annul Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (‘organizing or participation in the activities of a public association, or foundation that wasn’t registered in the order established by the law’). Human rights watchdogs called upon Belarusian authorities to review all the norms of the Belarusian law which ban activities of unregistered associations.
The General Prosecutor’s Office of Belarus does not see grounds for lifting the ban on activities of unregistered organizations, is written in the answer signed by the deputy Prosecutor General of Belarus Siarhei Myshkavets.
‘The legislation in power fully defines the order of organizations’ work at the territory of Belarus. There are no grounds for sending to a rule-making body a proposal to cancel Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code and other provisions of the law which prohibit activities of unregistered organizations and their representatives,’ the General Prosecutor’s Office wrote.
Thus, the General Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t accepted the arguments of human rights activists that Article 193.1 contradicts international commitments of Belarus in the sphere of human rights.
Since 2006, when the criminal responsibility for activities of unregistered organizations was enforced, 17 persons were convicted under Article 193.1. There were no acquitting judgments in these cases.Human rights activists know one criminal case opened on charges relating Article 193.1, which is at the stage of investigation now. On 12 August 2009 Young Front activist Mikhail Illin was served a warning of Brest Prosecutor’s office. The activist can face a criminal case for membership in an unauthorized organization. Belarusian and foreign human rights organizations carry out a campaign with a demand to abolish Article 193.1 which hinders normal development of the civil society in Belarus.