On July 22, 2021, it became known that more than 40 non-profit organizations in Belarus were closed. This decision was made by the Minsk City Executive Committee, while none of these organizations received preliminary notifications about the closure.

Of course, the Minsk City Executive Committee did not make such a decision independently: the day before, the self-proclaimed usurper broke out in a speech in which he called organizations engaged in social activities “bandits” and “foreign agents that harm the state.”

Here is a list of closed NGOs:

  • “Charity project “Imena”
  • “Human Rights Center “Human Constanta “
  • “Journalistic workshop “Press Club” (four of its employees have been in jail for more than six months)
  • “Legal Information Center”
  • “Center for the development of Effective Communication “Living Library”
  • “Center for Legal Transformation”
  • “Information and cultural centre “IniciArt”
  • “The office for European expertise and communications”
  • “Business school IPM”
  • “Human rights platform “Territory of rights”
  • “Center “European Dialogue” (Director — Anatoly Lebedko)
  • “Centre for regional development GDF”
  • “Social media Agency “TimeAct”
  • “The center for European studies”
  • “Office for the rights of persons with disabilities”
  • “The office for European expertise and communications”
  • “Office promotion initiatives”
  • “Center for environmental solutions”
  • “Center for urban projects and initiatives “Space”
  • “Art Syadziba”
  • “Institution “Urban development”
  • “Consulting-educational institution for nature protection “Aikasarja”
  • “Establishment “Territory rights
  • “Educational institution “Social intervention”
  • “Regional centre of expertise “Ecodemia”
  • “Cultural institution “assist the cultural development of cities”
  • “Cultural institution “Kresy”
  • “A cultural institution of the population and self-development “Common future”
  • “Informational and educational institution “Retirement event”
  • “Center for social assistance and support to at-risk “Incentive to success”
  • “Private information and educational institution “Noktuam”
  • “Private cultural and educational institution “Vedanta vada”;
  • “Mogilev youth centre”
  • “Socio-educational institution in the field of historical and cultural heritage “UNOVIS-FORUM”
  • “Private cultural institution “Gender response”
  • “Human rights and educational institution “Vakolica”
  • “Private cultural institution “The leader of the new era”
  • “Centre for animal lovers “LOVEBREEL”
  • “Cultural institution “ASET”
  • “Socio-cultural Institution for the development of the Belarusian language and culture “Mova Nanova”
  • “Workshop of Social cinema”
  • “Belarusian National Youth Council “RADA”
  • “Youth Labor Rights”
  • “European Youth Parliament”

Among the lawlessly destroyed organizations are cultural, educational, human rights initiatives. Some helped the sick (including children), the disabled and pensioners.

By committing this vile act of lawlessness, the usurper “government” blows civil society, as they promised. Such promises are the only ones of their kind that they fulfil.

“Our House” categorically condemns such criminal actions and calls on the world democratic community to react harshly to another lawlessness in Belarus.

By leaving thousands of people out of work and thereby provoking civil society (it has always been and will be even in the absence of organizations), the usurpers themselves are approaching their end. Dictatorial and authoritarian regimes have always been engaged in the destruction of civil society. Freedom of speech and the ability of citizens of the country to independently make decisions according to the opinion of similar authorities sooner or later lead to the overthrow of the regime itself.

But the violent destruction of civil society, on the contrary, does not delay the moment of the fall of any regime but only brings its finish closer. People always find a way out of any circumstances. If the situation involves the fact that they appear in a corner, then a social explosion with uncontrolled consequences for the authorities is inevitable.

ICCI “Our House” calls on international human rights organizations to pay close attention to the cleansing of civil society in Belarus, which is gaining unprecedented scale up to this moment. In the 21st century, it is unacceptable for authoritarianism and repression to flourish in the centre of one of the most democratic continents of the world.