The NHC condemns the Belarusian Supreme Court’s Decision to shut down the Belarusian Helsinki Committee
On 01 October 2021, the Belarusian Supreme Court upheld the decision on the shutting down of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC). The decision is final and cannot be appealed. In their decision, the Supreme Court refused to take into account the amicus curiae or ‘friend of the court’ brief, prepared by the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) among other experts.
We condemn the court’s unjust ruling, extend our unwavering support to and solidarity with colleagues at the Belarusian Helsinki Committee and all other Belarusian civil society organisations that remain unwavering in their fighting for democracy, human rights and the Rule of Law in Belarus, despite all odds and adversity.
In their statement, the BHC indicated that they would try to overturn the decision through the supervisory review procedure in the country, as well as in the UN Human Rights Committee. Furthermore, the BHC assured that it would continue its activities.
About the Belarusian Helsinki Committee (BHC)
The BHC is the oldest human rights NGO in Belarus and has been active since 1995. The BHC has more than 25 years of experience in monitoring and documenting human rights violations, expertise in the field of human rights, experience in legal assistance to victims of human rights violations, experience in promoting a human rights-based approach, and experience in strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations.
The BHC will continue to work with lawyers and the legal community to promote and protect the ideals of the rule of law and provide businesses with expertise in the field of business and human rights to help to build sustainable processes and comply with international standards. The state and its bodies will continue to be the focal point of the human rights’ monitoring and the requirements for human rights provision and protection, BHC indicated in their statement.
This decision follows the mass and brutal repressions organized by the Belarusian regime against its citizens. The outcome of the trial only further raises concern towards human rights and the right to fair hearings in the country.
In times such as these, the work of the human rights defenders and NGOs such as the BHC are especially important.