Human Rights Activist: Belarusian Law Doesn’t Have Term “Registration Cancellation”
Belarusian freedom of conscience and religious organizations law does not have a notion of “registration cancellation”, hence there is no mechanism of such “cancellation”. This was stated by a human rights activist and lawyer Dzina Shautsova in her interview to Krynica.info, when she was commenting on the statement of the Plenipotentiary for religions and nationalities Leanid Hulyaka considering Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities in Belarus.
As Krynica.info has previously reported, several communities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belarus can be deprived of registration, Leanid Hulyaka, the Plenipotentiary for religions and nationalities in Belarus, stated at the meeting of his office. Leanid Hulyaka called local authorities to take the harshest measures possible in preventing illegal literature dissemination. The Plenipotentiary also characterized Jehovah’s Witnesses’s actionsas “persistent and illegal” and pointed out that they cause discontent among the country’s population and the believers of other confessions.
Dzina Shautsova mentioned in her interview to Krynica.info that Art. 37 of the Freedom of conscience and religious organizations law provides that “in case of legislation of the Republic of Belarus being violated by a religious organization or activity contradicting with the charter of a religious organization being committed, a registering body issues a written warning which is sent to the leadership of a religious organization in a three-day term.
If the violations listed in the first part of this article had not been amended in a six-montsh term or had occured again in the space of year, a registering body has a right to file a petition for liquidation of a religious organization to the court”.
“It means that first a religious community should receive a written warning in case if it violates the law, – the activist clarified. – It should also be noticed that any violation must be proven by an authorized body with necessary documents being issued”.
“Only a court can decide to liquidate an organization, this matter cannot be decided by a registering body”, – Dzina Shautsova clarified.
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