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15 Oct 2021

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Belarusian authorities seek to dissolve top human rights group working on business-related issues

Belarusian Authorities Seek Dissolution Of Top Human Rights Group, 29 September 2021

International human rights organizations are urging Belarus’s authorities to withdraw a lawsuit requesting the liquidation of one of the country's oldest independent human rights groups -- the Belarusian Helsinki Committee -- a move seen as part of a wide effort by the government of authoritarian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka to silence all critical voices...

In a September 22 joint letter addressed to Justice Minister Aleh Slizheuski, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and three other nongovernmental organizations described the move to dissolve the Belarusian Helsinki Committee as "an attempt to impose a draconian, punitive and irreversible penalty to bring about the elimination of a long-standing body of human rights defenders."...

In a statement on September 29, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee noted that its volunteers have taken part in election monitoring campaigns, defended the rights of lawyers, defended Belarusians’ pension rights from abuses, worked to abolish forced labor, and proposed the solutions aimed at improving the legislation, among other things...