Updated at 11:40,06-05-2021

Authorities deny registration to pro-independence movement

By Iryna Lewshyna, BelaPAN

The justice ministry had denied state registration to the Movement for the Statehood and Independence of Belarus that has a number of prominent opposition politicians and public figures among its founders.

As the organization's leader, Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, told BelaPAN, the ministry explained that registration had been denied because of the absence of the movement's full name from the list of its founders attached to the application for registration.

«The ministry declared the founders list to be invalid,» said the former presidential candidate.

Among the Movement’s founders are Nobel Prize winner Svyatlana Aleksiyevich, poets Nil Hilevich, Anatol Vyartsinski, Vasil Zuyonak, and Syarhey Zakonnikaw, writers Uladzimir Arlow and Viktar Kazko, filmmaker Andrey Kureychyk, artist Ales Marachkin, labor union leader Henadz Fyadynich, and chess master Viktar Kupreychyk.

«The Belarusian government has rejected a civil initiative aimed at preserving the country's statehood and independence in a situation where they are obviously in danger,» said Mr. Nyaklyayew. «This is not just a paradox and not another spit in the direction of civil society or defiance of freedom, democracy and law. This is evidence that society and the state exist in two different worlds.»

Mr. Nyaklyayew said that the organization would not make a new attempt to obtain legal status as it would be senseless. Instead, he said, it will seek to obtain registration abroad as an international organization.

«We can and will do much [for Belarus], no matter who tries to interfere with our efforts,» said the poet-turned-politician.

The Movement for the Statehood and Independence of Belarus was founded in May 2015 following Mr. Nyaklyayew’s resignation as chairman of the «Tell the Truth!» movement.

Mr. Nyaklyayew announced that he was quitting the movement and ending his involvement in the activities of all existing opposition organizations following their failure to agree on a single presidential contender.