Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

"Tell the Truth!" movement to continue pushing for state registration

Syarhey KARALEVICH, naviny.by

The "Tell the Truth!" movement will make a new attempt to obtain state registration, its chairman, Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, told BelaPAN on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, a judge of the Supreme Court of Belarus rejected an appeal by the "Tell the Truth!" movement against the justice ministrys decision to deny it state registration for the third time.

"Even before the announcement of the decision on our appeal, we formed an organizing committee for our next founding conference, which will take place within no less than six months," Mr. Nyaklyayew said. "In the meantime, well be able to act as representatives of the founding committee for our movement, which means that the authorities wont be able to persecute us for acting on behalf of an unregistered organization."

Mr. Nyaklyayew said that he would like the "Tell the Truth!" movement to be registered because it deserved to have legal status. "Our activists have braved freezing temperatures during various street events and served so much time in jails and prisons that they deserve this recognition," he said. "However, the current regime is unlikely to register the organization."

The "Tell the Truth!" movements third application for state registration was rejected this past June.

Explaining its decision, the ministry said that although valid on the date of submission, a letter confirming that the "Tell the Truth!" movement had a legal address had expired before the application's consideration.

The other "flaw" noted by the ministry was that the movement had allegedly failed to specify the number of its board members.

The movement dismissed the ministry's arguments as far-fetched.

The organization describes its mission as contributing to the creation of a democratic, law-based state, the development of civil society and the economy, and the strengthening of the Belarusian peoples patriotic traditions.

The "Tell the Truth!" movement was established on February 25, 2010, with the initial aim of raising the awareness of the public of social and economic problems in the country and pressing for the government to solve them. During the presidential race later that year, hundreds of activists of the movement across Belarus collected ballot-access signatures and electioneered for Mr. Nyaklyayew.

The movements previous two registration applications were also rejected for technical reasons.