The Secretary General of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has today made the following statement:
“I am very concerned by reports that the Supreme Court of Belarus has this week liquidated the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, one of the oldest NGOs defending human rights in the country and a part of the global Helsinki movement.
The Belarusian Helsinki Committee is a long-standing partner of the Council of Europe and has participated in our programmes, together with the Belarusian authorities, for many years. This co-operation has been highly beneficial for Belarus and its citizens.
“Active and independent civil society is crucial to building and maintaining a sustainable State based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
I call on the Belarusian authorities to make sure that the Belarusian Helsinki Committee can continue to work in all security, calm and with no hindrance.“