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Belarus set to de-criminalize acting on behalf of unregistered organizations


Belarus may abolish the notorious Article 193 (1) of the Criminal Code that envisages criminal responsibility for persons acting on behalf of unregistered organizations. The Council of Ministers have published the proposed amendments at the National Legal Documents Internet portal.

Article 193 (1) was added to the Criminal Code in 2005. It sets out that acting on behalf of an unregistered organization results in a fine or imprisonment.

The authorities often used this provision against opposition organizations. The first people affected by the article were Young Front activists. Eduard Zelyankou from Zlobin was fined in 2006 and Minsker Zmitser Dashkevich was imprisoned for 26 months. 

Rights defenders have repeatedly urged the authorities to abolish this article