Belarusian justice ministry denies registration for new human rights organisation


The Belarusian justice ministry has denied state registration for a new human rights organisation called the Movement for the Implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, or Pakt (Covenant).

The founders of the organisation filed a registration application and the required package of documents on June 27.

Mikhail Pastukhow, a former judge of the Constitutional Court, was elected chairman of the organisation at its founding conference held in Minsk on June 7.

Human rights defenders Viktar Karniyenka and Uladzimir Katsora were elected deputy chairmen, while Leanid Sudalenka was elected executive director.

The justice ministry denied registration under ridiculous pretexts, Dr. Pastukhow told BelaPAN. In particular, the ministry explained that the number of the apartment in the address of one of the founders was erroneously indicated as 2 instead of 62, that the date of birth of another founder was stated as June 21, 1949, whereas the correct date was June 26, 1949, and that apart from the original list of the founders, the applicants should have filed a copy.

“Those errors could have been easily eliminated and we would have promptly done that if the ministry had notified us of them,” Dr. Pastukhow said. “But the ministry was determined to deny us registration because Belarusian authorities do not want to obey decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee, the only international body to which Belarusian citizens can complain about violations of their rights.”

Belarusian authorities completely ignore the UN Human Rights Committee’s decisions on Belarusians’ complaints, explaining that such decisions are not binding, and making use of the fact that the Committee does not have an efficient mechanism for making Belarus abide by its international commitments, Dr. Pastukhow noted.

According to him, to date, the UN Human Rights Committee has issued 57 decisions on complaints from Belarus and none of the decisions has been executed by Belarusian authorities. The Committee has registered more than 150 complaints (communications) from Belarus.

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