A.Byalyatskі: Population registry may restrict Belarusians’ rights


A human rights activist Ales Byalyatski admits that the new registry may be used against the Belarusian opposition. At the same time the President’s press service claims that the data base is created using the positive experience of civilized countries. A registry of the population will be created in Belarus. It is a unified system of registration of personal information about citizens of the country and about foreign residents and people having no citizenship. The system is aimed at promotion of the one-window principle in order to reduce correspondence and the number of organization’s appeals while working with citizens.

Personal information will be added to the registry alongside with the personal identification number of every citizen. A human rights activist Ales Byalyatski thinks that even the best intentions may turn out to be directed against the country’s citizens.

Ales Byalyatskі: “I will not be surprised if the data complex gathered during the creation of such a huge data base of the Belarusian population will be used for repressions and restrictions that will limit the already restricted civil and political rights in Belarus”.

Human rights activists have faced such situations many times. For example, Mr. Byalyatski told ERB about the incident when the money allocated by the European Union was used to prevent the Belarusian opposition from going abroad.

Ales Byalyatskі: “The European Union is cooperating with Belarus to improve the border infrastructure. EU money is being spent on computers and a great data base is being created. Then it turns out that the good thing is used by the Belarusian authorities to prevent representatives of the Belarusian opposition from going abroad for this or that reason”.

ERB wondered how dangerous such a data base could be. Will it be distributed legally? The Ministry of Internal Affaires assured us that the registry was being created with the help of the Ministry’s software. So it will be secure. State institutions will be able to access it in their way, said the press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affaires Aleh Slepchanka in an interview with ERB:

“At first we have to create the software that will be able to unite the data bases exiting in the Ministry of Internal Affaires, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Defense. The “AS-passport” will be the starting point. There is such a programme. There have been no information leaks for 14 years”.

Moreover, Mr. Slepchanka said that the population registry would not be connected to the Internet. However, it will take a long time to create it. According to the Ministry of Internal Affaires, it will take about 3 years to create the data base.