About Belarusian Helsinki Committee
The National Human Rights Public Association “Belarusian Helsinki Committee”* is an autonomous, independent, non-profit, human rights public association established for the implementation of humanitarian activities on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. It operates on the basis of self-governance and unites citizens of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of their common interests. It is independent from government and business bodies, political and non-governmental organizations. Relationships with them are based on partnership, dialogue and cooperation.
BHC is the partner of the Council of Europe, active participant in the international Helsinki movement.
Its foundation on November 1, 1995 was considered to be a reaction to the socio-political situation in Belarus. Outrage upon the national white-red-white flag served as a peculiar catalyst for the establishment of the human rights organization.
Well-known social, political and cultural activists of the country became the founders of Belarusian Helsinki Committee: Vasil Bykov (the first chairman of BHC Supervisory Council), Ryhor Baradulin, Radim Goretsky, Svetlana Alexievich, Gennady Buravkin, Yuri Hodyko, Carlos Sherman and others.
Tatiana Protsko was the first chairperson of the association. Today Aleh Hulak is the chairman of BHC.
Nowadays its representatives work in 12 towns of the republic. To learn more about our team, please click here.
BHC exposes human rights violations, provides legal assistance to the individuals (annually BHC receives about 2000 complaints), regularly holds human rights seminars and educating training courses for youth activists and lawyers, publishes human rights literature, organizes various events, aiming to draw public attention to the issues of human rights violations in the Republic of Belarus.
BHC analyses the legislation and puts forward proposals on how to improve it: proposals to the Criminal Code, the labour legislation, the media legislation and the electoral law have been worked out, as well as to The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus. BHC members participated in missions of the International Helsinki Federation, observed the human rights situation in Transdniestria (Moldova), North Caucasus (Russian Federation), in the Ukraine, Tadjikistan and Uzbekistan.
BHC representatives took part in numerous “ordinary” and “celebrated” cases, defending Pavel Sheremet, Valery Shchukin, Irina Makovetskaya and other journalists; newspapers “Narodnaya Volia” and “Belorusskaya delovaya gazeta”; Yuri Bandazhevsky, Andrey Klimov and other prisoners of consience; relatives of the disappeared Yuri Zaharenko, Viktor Gonchar, Anatoly Krasovsky, Dmitry Zavadsky; representatives of different confessions; parliamentary and president candidates; participants of peaceful manifestations; entrepreneurs and socially exposed citizens; refugees; abused prisoners and hundreds of other people.
In 1988 BHC was presented with the award of the European Union and the United States for its recognition of achievements in promoting democratic values and a civil society.
220036 Minsk, K. Liebnecht str., 68, office 1201;
Tel. +37517 222 48 01, fax: +37517 222 48 00;
e-mail: office @ belhelcom.org
* In this and other texts as BHC and Belarusian Helsinki Committee