First hearing on liquidation of Mahiliou Human Rights Centre
March 10, judicial board for civil cases of the Mahiliou Regional Court started considering the claim of the Main Justice Board of the Mahiliou Regional Executive Committee on the liquidation of the public association "Mahiliou Human Rights Centre".
As stated in the lawsuit signed by the head of the Main Justice Board Aliaksandr Maimusau, the public association violated the law by failing to present to the Ministry of Justice the documents which are required for the state registration of a change of the legal address which is put in the organization Charter. Accoridng to the lawsuit, since December 5, 2014 the organization hasn't operated on the address specified in its Charter, as far as the lessor of the office unilaterally canceled the rent agreement. Thus, since December 5, 2014 Mahiliou Human Rights Centre had no premises to accommodate its governing body, and the document, necessary for the registration of a new legal address weren't presented to the justice board.
January 8, 2015 PA MHRC received a formal warning. According to it, the human rights activists had one months to eliminate this violation.
During the preliminary hearing, held under the chairmanship of Judge Aliaksandr Ramanau, the court considered the motions of the sides and clarified their positions. The head of the PA MHRC Uladzimir Krauchanka, who represented the interests of the organization at court, didn't recognize the claims stated in the lawsuit. The court dismissed his motion for summoning the witnesses which could confirm the facts of pressurization of the lesoor by the authorities, which eventually led to the cancellation of the rent agreement.
Consideration of the merits will begin in court on March 17.
MHRC has repeatedly received warnings due to problems with its legal address. In autumn the Justice Board tried to suspend the organization activities through court, but the human rights defenders managed to solve the issue by concluding a rent agreement, which was soon canceled by the lessor.
Human rights activists have repeatedly stated about the pressurization of the entrepreneurs who lent offices for the governing body of the organization, by the authorities.
Mahiliou Human Rights Centre is the only regional human rights organizations in Belarus. It has operated since 1998. The trial will continue at Mahiliou Regional Court at 2.30 p.m.