On September 24, the Supreme Court of Belarus ruled to liquidate the World Association of Belarusians aka Batskaushchyna (Fatherland), human rights defenders report. It is the Justice Ministry that was seeking the liquidation of the organisation.
According to the ministry, Batskaushchyna’s governing and auditing bodies of have been illegitimate since 15 July 2021. The reason is the postponement of the VIII Congress of Belarusians of the World to the next year because of restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. The community stresses that the decision to postpone the congress was made after consultations with the Justice Ministry. It was representatives of the ministry who confirmed that the leadership of the NGO had all the authority to make such a decision.
Earlier, during the unscheduled inspection of Batskaushchyna, which was started by the Ministry of Justice in the first decade of July, the organisation received two warnings. On July 14, their office of the association was searched and sealed by the Investigative Committee.
During today’s interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Belarus at the UNHRC 48th session, High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet recalled that 129 civil society organisations had been closed down or were in the process of liquidation by the Belarusian authorities, including several long-standing partners of the UN human rights mechanisms.