Supreme Court liquidates Belarusian Helsinki Committee
The Supreme Court ordered today to liquidate the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the oldest human rights organization of Belarus. BHC disagreed with the decision, saying that it was based on inadmissible evidence.
Hary Pahaniayla, the organization’s deputy chairman, who represented BHC in court, said that the case was based on copies of documents from an investigation which has not yet reached court and therefore should not have been taken into account. Among other things, the lawsuit filed by the Ministry of Justice argued that BHC breached the law by offering remuneration to long-term observers during the 2020 presidential election.
BHC chairman Aleh Hulak says that the organization will continue to work to protect human rights:
“It was predictable, at least because no one has yet won against the Ministry of Justice’s liquidation lawsuits, especially in recent times. Now it’s bad times for laws.
It is a political decision in line with the current pressure and persecution, the elimination of civil society structures and the general political context in the country.”
On October 5, the Supreme Court will hear a liquidation lawsuit against Legal Initiative, the last registered human rights organization in Belarus.
The lawsuits seeking the liquidation of Belarus’s last remaining human rights groups are part of a massive attack on the country’s civil society, which to date resulted in the dissolution of over 130 organizations and initiatives. The attack was launched in mid-July after a public statement by Aliaksandr Lukashenka promising reprisals against “destructive” NGOs.