Authorities to re-impose criminal charges for unregistered organizations and administrative liability for raising money for fines

2022 2022-01-11T19:03:37+0300 2022-01-11T19:04:50+0300 en https://spring96.org/files/images/sources/sapielko-belgazeta.jpg The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The law “On Amendments to the Codes” was published on January 4. It introduces two norms of the Administrative Code and the Criminal Code, which restrict the right to freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly.  They will take effect on January 14.

The Criminal Code has been supplemented with article 193-1, "Illegal organization of the activities of a public association, religious organization or foundation, or participation in their activities."

ARTICLE 193.1 “THE ILLEGAL ORGANIZATION OF THE ACTIVITIES OF A PUBLIC ASSOCIATION, RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION OR FOUNDATION OR PARTICIPATION IN THOSE ACTIVITIES”.

The organization of activities or participation in the activities of a political party, other public association, religious organization or foundation in respect of which a decision of the public authority on its liquidation or suspension of its activities has entered into legal force, as well as the organization of and participation in the activities of political parties, other public associations, religious organizations or foundations which has not obtained state registration as prescribed by law, if there are no indications of a crime under Article 423-1 of this Code,  -- punishable by fine or arrest, or imprisonment for a term up to 2 years.

The new part of Article 24.23 of the Administrative Code affected those who help a person prosecuted for violating the “order of organizing or holding mass events.” Such “helpers” will face a fine of BYN160 to BYN960 with possible confiscation of the object of the offense.

Viasna lawyer Pavel Sapelka commented on the new norm:

"This is a new rule, which introduced liability for violating the requirements of the law “On Mass Events.” One of the many restrictions is now the raising of money to pay fines. This norm should be assessed in conjunction with other legislation that regulates, or rather, impermissibly restricts the right to participate in peaceful assemblies and the practice of its application.

The conclusion is clear–this norm is aimed at restricting the rights and freedoms.”

 

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