Mogilev authorities are trying to close the Human Rights Center

2014 2014-09-26T16:27:37+0300 2014-09-26T16:27:37+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
Barys Bukhel, human rights defender from Mahiliou

Barys Bukhel, human rights defender from Mahiliou

The only regional human rights organization registered in the country is on the verge of closing because of baseless causes.
The first court hearing was held at Mogilev Regional Court on Tuesday, September 23, with the requirement to stop work of "Mogilev Human Rights Center" (MHRC) for three months. The plaint of the Department of Justice says that the union "didn’t provide at a certain time the documents necessary for registration of changes of the legal address." In connection with this were made cautions to the public association, that haven’t been appealed, revealed violations are not corrected, - reports Deutsche Welle.
Square decimeters
Under these formulations lay actually strange things, convinced the president of MHRC Barys Buhel. He says that now the MHRC is registered in the room, the declared area of which is 17 square meters, at least, is that human rights defenders pointed out in the documents. Later, the Department of Justice found that the actual area of the room according to the passport is 17.3 square meters and ordered the founder of the organization to make corrections in the documents.
There was made a clerical error that can be corrected easily, says Barys Buhel, but subsequent events have surprised defenders even more. Owner of the room, who agreed to lend it for non-governmental organization after the return of documents from the Department of Justice refused to re-sign a supplementary treaty with corrected parameters of the office.
"Strong recommendations"
The head of the MHRC Uladzimir Krauchanka claims that the position of the owner changed after he received "strong recommendations" from the authorities. "After the visit of the representatives of the Department of Justice he had been warned that the fire guard as well as sanitary station workers want to talk to him " - says Krauchanka.
Despite the absurdity of the situation, the owner doesn’t want to make corrections in the documents, but it’s not surprising on the eve of the presidential election, said Buhel. Something like this happened in 2009, a year before the start of the election campaign, when the MHRC and a number of other NGOs lost their benefits of paying rent.
The real cause of the pressure on the MHRC human rights defenders see in that the organization effectively engaged in the election monitoring for a long time. "There are 153 polling stations in Mogilev and because of our registration, we are ready to put 153 inspectors" - said Buhel. At the moment, the founders of organizations are preparing for the next court session, scheduled for September 30. However, they don’t think that the result of it will be in favor of them. If the MHRC cannot find a new room within three months, the next action will be for the liquidation of the public association.