On 28 September the Supreme Court took the decision to liquidate our organisation, the International Public Association “Gender Perspectives”. This unjust decision cannot undo 11 years of hard, not always grateful, but very exciting work by a wonderful team of professionals. We cannot understand why and how, after multiple years of close cooperation with the state, endless participation in all kinds of councils, working groups, coordination mechanisms, meetings, etc., the same state suddenly considered our work ineffective and even criminal, forbidding it to continue. Obviously, the needs of the huge number of women who are experiencing domestic violence or/and gender-based discrimination, and whom we have been defending all this time to the best of our ability, are now irrelevant.
Despite this, it is today that we want to thank once again all our partners, colleagues and friends from non-profit organisations, international agencies, media and even government bodies and institutions for the many years of cooperation, for their love and desire to help people, for their courage and caring, for their ability not to give up and to go forward against all odds. We have endless admiration for our entire team, which is a dream to work with. But our greatest appreciation goes to our clients, to the women whose pain and tears taught us to work and create a country where people and laws are respected. And which Belarus will surely become.
It is estimated that currently around 350 civil society organisations have been liquidated or are in process of liquidation in Belarus. This happened after President Lukashenko vowed to continue, what he called a “mopping-up operation” against civil society activists who he denounced as “bandits and foreign agents”. See earlier LSI news on this issue.