Supreme Court refuses to hear Belarusian Christian Democracy`s appeal against registration denial


The Supreme Court of Belarus has refused to hear Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD)`s appeal against the justice ministry`s decision to deny state registration to the party, BCD Executive Secretary Dzyanis Sadowski announced at a news conference held in Minsk on Monday.

According to him, the Court rejected the appeal on the grounds that although delegates to the party`s recent convention had authorized the executive secretary and the three co-chairmen to represent it in dealings with the state, only the secretary signed the appeal.

The law governing political parties allows them to appeal registration denials but says nothing about the number of people who should sign such appeals, Mr. Sadowski said.

Soon after the arrest of BCD Co-chairman Paval Sevyarynets on December 19, 2010, the party asked the Supreme Court to order his temporary release to sign an appeal against a registration denial, but a judge replied that the signature of Mr. Sevyarynets was unnecessary because other authorized representatives of the party could sign the document, said another BCD co-chairman, Vital Rymashewski.

"Both the Supreme Court and the justice ministry are simply following a political order not to register our party," Mr. Sadowski concluded. "This is complete lawlessness."

Belarusian Christian Democracy made its fourth attempt to obtain legal status following a founding conference that was held on December 17, 2011. On February 14, the justice ministry rejected the party`s registration application.

The justice ministry denied registration to BCD twice in 2009 and once in 2010.

Mr. Rymashewski said that Belarusian Christian Democracy would lodge a complaint with the UN Human Rights Committee about the justice ministry`s decision to deny state registration to the party for the fourth time.

“We know in advance that it`s useless to complain against the Supreme Court to its chairman," he said. "That is why we will be preparing to complain to the UN Human Rights Committee about the violation of citizens` right to freedom of association."

Mr. Rymashewski said that BCD would lodge a collective and not an individual complaint with the Committee. "We know that the consideration of cases by the UN Human Rights Committee may last for months and even years," he explained. "Belarus is another matter. Complaints by Belarusian citizens are considered more quickly, especially collective complaints."

“One of the objectives of our attempts to get registered was to prove that there was no judicial system in Belarus and what was in existence was mockery of justice,” he said. “We insist that by these four registration denials for our party, the Belarusian authorities flagrantly violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.” //BelaPAN