Round table on Article 193.1 and Aliaksei Shchadrou's case to be held 16 July
A round-table to discuss the
institution of criminal proceedings under article 193.1 (activities
on behalf of unregistered organization) against Aliaksei Shchadrou
(who organize a shelter for homeless in his village) will start at 11
a.m. on 16 July in Charnysheuski Street, 3 in Minsk.
According to a ruling of the head of the public security section of the Shchychyn District Police Department Siarhei Asovik, Aliaksei Shchadrou "organize the activities... of an unregistered religious organization, and provided the conditions for its operation without registration according to the legally established order".
The round-table will be attended by lawyers, human rights activists, politicians and journalists, as well as Aliaksei Shchadrou.The aim of the event is to discuss the general situation around this case and the possible actions of politicians and human rights defenders to protect the initiatives aimed at rendering aid to homeless people. According to Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code, Mr. Shchadrou faces up to 2 years in imprison.
Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna" Valiantsin Stefanovich states that in 2011 the Venice Commission published its conclusion regarding Article 193-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, where it is stated that Article 193-1 violates the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is a potential tool for the government in curbing social activists, which gives the authorities wide powers to interfere with the fundamental right to freedom of association, freedom of thought, belief and expression.