To date, we know about the forced liquidation of more than 250 civil society organizations. Among them there are numerous human rights organizations. Back in July 2021, the authorities ordered the closure of such human rights institutions as Human Constanta, Center for the Promotion of Women’s Rights “Her Rights”, Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Center for Legal Transformation, and TimeAct. On August 9, the Supreme Court ruled to liquidate the Belarusian PEN Center; on August 27, the Belarusian Association of Journalists; on August 30, Ecohome; on September 30, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee; and on October 5, Legal Initiative. On the same day, October 5, the Minsk City Court ruled to liquidate Zvyano. In addition, decisions were made to liquidate a number of other organizations whose activities are aimed at protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. // 08.10.2021
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». // 29.09.2021
The joint campaign #FreeViasna, demanding the immediate release of the Viasna seven, calls on the Belarusian authorities to:
Fully abide by their international human rights obligations as a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to respect the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly, and expression of all people in Belarus.
Fully respect and protect the work of human rights defenders and ensure that everybody has the right to complain about the policies and actions of individual officials and government bodies and to offer and provide professionally qualified legal assistance or other relevant advice and assistance in defending human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In line with these obligations, release Marfa Rabkova, Andrei Chepyuk, Tatsyana Lasitsa, Leanid Sudalenka, Ales Bialatski, Valiantsin Stefanovich, and Uladzimir Labkovich immediately and unconditionally, drop charges against them, Maryia Tarasenka, and other Viasna staff and volunteers, and ensure their right to a remedy for unlawful persecution. // 17.09.2021
Under such circumstances, inviting representatives of the CEC of Belarus and its chairperson Lidziya Yarmoshyna to participate in observing local elections in Georgia is unacceptable and, in fact, would be regarded as approval by Georgian institutions, primarily the CEC of Georgia, of the falsification of voting results in Belarusian elections, which directly involved the invited Belarusian officials. // 15.09.2021
The decision of the Supreme Court on the liquidation of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee could violate the right to protection of persons involved in criminal proceedings.