СТОП 193.1!

Гэтая старонка прысьвечаная грамадзкай кампаніі за скасаваньне артыкула 193.1 КК РБ, які супярэчыць Канстытуцыі Рэспублікі Беларусь і міжнародным абавязкам, узятым на сябе нашай краінай. Кампанія ініцыяваная Асамблеяй няўрадавых дэмакратычных арганізацыяў...

 
 

Stop 193.1!

Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus establishes criminal responsibility for participation in the activities of an unregistered political party, foundation, civil or religious organization, and envisages two years of imprisonment for such activities.

Article 193.1 prevents normal development of civil society in Belarus, especially bearing in mind a very complicated procedure of registration of public associations. In fact, Article 193.1 treats any independent initiative of citizens as a crime. Article 193.1 violates citizens' right to association and it contradicts certain provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international documents signed by Belarus. Apart from that, article 193.1 does not correspond the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, article 36 of which guarantees the right of every person to the freedom of association.

Criminal penalty for participating in the activities of unregistered organizations is also implemented in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, China, North Korea.

Almost 4 years have passed since the implementation of the Article 193.1 to the Criminal Code (15.12.2005). 17 persons have been condemned under this article: most of them in 2006 (9 people) and in 2007 (6 people)— because of the elections period. In 2008 one person was accused under Article 193.1, as well as in 2009. Though at the moment Belarusian authorities seem to be eager to better relations with Europe and with West in general, it is not a part of the plan to abolish shameful Article 193.1 yet. It is still being used (as it was mentioned previously, in 2009 one person was accused under this article). Recently a new case under Article 193.1 has been started, this time against a representative of a religious organization.

In the end of April 2009 the campaign “STOP 193.1!” was initiated by the Assembly of Pro-Democratic NGOs (it is and association of more than 250 civic organizations and initiatives).

The purpose of the campaign is to abolish Article 193.1 of the Criminal Code through the influence on Belarusian authorities and on international institutions, cooperation with them and through informing Belarusian citizens about the problem.

The campaign “STOP 193.1!” is also supported by foreign organizations which address their calls on abolition of Article 193.1 to Belarusian government and inform their national governments about the issue, asking them to use possible diplomatic ways of influence on Belarusian authorities.

So far the campaign has been supported by 46 international organizations: Östgruppen (Sweden), FrontLine Defenders (Ireland), the network of the Human Rights House, Civic Belarus are among them.

Any propositions concerning the contest of the campaign are really important for us. But the most essential thing is your participation and support of the campaign!

Information:

In Belarus works a large number of unregistered organizations – about a few hundreds. These organizations deal with social issues, human rights, sports, charity work, with the protection of environment and with the protection of minorities. This situation is a result of a too complicated registration process of non-governmental organizations and of the current practice of illegal denials in registration. For example, the youth organization Young Front was denied in registration 3 times, the Human Rights Center "Viasna" - 3 times (including two denials in 2009!), Belarusian Christian Democracy - 3 times, the Assembly of NGOs - 2 times.