UPD for 16.07.2021
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee submitted a part of the information requested to the Ministry of Justice. We also informed the Ministry that on 14 July, our office was sealed in the absence of the Committee representatives. All documents requested by the Ministry have been held in the office, and therefore they cannot be submitted within a specified time, namely until 16 July.
We also note that under article 6 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On public associations" of 4 October, 1994 No. 3254-XII, the State guarantees the protection of the rights and lawful interests of public associations and unions. Government interference in the activities of public associations and unions, as well as interference of public associations and unions in the activities of state bodies and officials, is prohibited, except in cases stipulated by law.
We asked the Ministry of Justice to take all possible measures within its competence to ensure the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee. The point is that the office sealed despite the Committee’s governing body and its legal address complicates our work for human rights protection.
However, the BHC will further seek to protect human rights by all available means.
The BHC received a request from the Ministry of Justice for information in connection with “control proceedings for compliance with the requirements of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and the charter of the given organization.”
By 16 July, the Ministry of Justice wants to receive documents on 30 points covering the period from 1 January, 2018 to July, 2021. Among other things, this list includes the organization’s correspondence, annual management plans, minutes of all sittings of the BHC elected bodies, and documents related to the events held within Belarus and abroad.
It should be reminded that the BHC volunteers took part in election monitoring campaigns, defended the rights of lawyers using international mechanisms, defended pension rights of Belarusians, worked towards the abolition of forced labor (decrees “on parasites” and “woodwork”, distribution), kept international bodies constantly informed about the human rights situation in Belarus country, and much more.