We, non-governmental organisations – members of the international Civic Solidarity Platform, condemn the decision of the authorities of the Russian Federation to liquidate the Moscow Helsinki Group (MHG), a member and one of the founders of our network. MHG is the oldest Russian human rights organisation, a pioneering organisation within the human rights movement in our region and a symbol of the fight against totalitarianism, protection of human rights and the implementation of the principles of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.
Human Rights Defenders
This means that now BHC, and through us other Belarusian civil society organizations that protect human rights, have an easier way of communicating with the UN.
Having this status, non-governmental organizations are given a number of opportunities: to cooperate more closely with the ECOSOC and its bodies, the right to participate in international events and conferences held within the framework of the UN, to make oral and written statements within the framework of these events, to have access to the UN territory, etc.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee informed the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus that article 193-1, which criminalized participation in activities of non-registered or previously liquidated public association, political party or religious organization, had been returned
Over the past year, Belarusian civil society organizations have been under constant pressure and judicial persecution. This includes smear campaigns in the government-controlled media, criminal cases against civil society activists, numerous audits, police raids, detentions, and forced liquidations.
Major international human rights organizations issued the joint open letter to the Ministry of Justice to withdraw the lawsuit requesting the liquidation of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee so that «the organization can continue to carry out its important work, protecting human rights for everyone in Belarus».
On the first anniversary of the unprecedented crackdown on the Human Rights Center Viasna ("Viasna") in Belarus, 23 international and Belarusian human rights organizations are launching a campaign to demand the release of seven detained Viasna members, and highlight the plight of hundreds of others, who have been prosecuted and jailed solely for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
On September 10, 2021 the Supreme Court will held a preliminary hearing on the claim to liquidation of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee.
On September 7, 2021 the BHC has received a statement of claim of the Ministry of Justice requesting the liquid of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee.
This document presents a set of professional and ethical principles determining the requirements for human rights defenders and their professional activities. It is based on the ethical criteria and traditions of human rights work in Belarus, as well as on the international standards and rules for human rights activities.