Finnish members of parliament demand to register BCD
Finnish Christian Democrats have appealed to the Belarusian authorities and the Belarusian Ministry of Justice with a demand to put an end to their repressions against the founders of the BCD. They also demand to register the party.
Below is the appeal of the Finnish Christian Democrats
07 October 2010, Helsinki
For two years the Belarusian Christian Democracy (BCD) has been trying to obtain the status of a registered political party in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus. In its attempt to obtain a state registration the BCD has already held three founding congresses for the purpose of preparing all the necessary documents and submitting them to the Belarusian Ministry of Justice. Two founding congresses took place in 2009 and one – in 2010.
The latest congress took place on 12 September 2010. After the previous two congresses, when the documents had already been submitted, the authorities undertook mass repressions against the founders of the BCD party. A number of them were fired from their jobs or expelled from their universities. Dozens of people were threatened on the phone. The Belarusian KGB threatened them that they would lose either their jobs or their living places. The Ministry of Justice twice refused to register the party. These decisions were confirmed by the Supreme Court, which ignored the testimonies of those founders of the BCD, who complained about the repressions that they had to face.
This is the third time the Belarusian authorities are running the same campaign of repressions against the founders of the BCD. Many Christian Democrats are being intimidated in Shklou, Homel and Babruysk.
The party is participating in the ongoing presidential campaign, promoting its candidate for presidency Vital Rymasheuski. Sviatlana Abramnikava from Babruysk is a member of Rymasheuski’s initiative group. The deputy director for state ideology at her place of work is currently intimidating her, threatening that her contract will be terminated in April 2011, if she does not abandon the initiative group. Babruysk is Vital Rymasheuski’s native town, therefore many people are supporting him there.
All these facts prove that the Belarusian authorities intend to refuse to register the BCD for the third time and are presently trying to create a pretext.
We express our solidarity with the founders of the Belarusian Christian Democracy and appeal to the Belarusian authorities to respect their right to freedom of association and to register the BCD. We also want to remind the Belarusian authorities that article 193.1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus, which 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, violates fundamental human rights and must be abolished.
Ms Päivi Räsänen
Leader of the Finnish Christian Democrats
Mr Bjarne Kallis
Leader of the Finnish Christian Democratic Parliamentary group
Ms Sari Essayah
Member of the European Parliament, European people's party
And members of the Finnish Parliament from the Christian Democrats