Twenty-six civil society groups have petitioned the Constitutional Court over controversial draft laws that would extend the powers of the Committee for State Security (KGB), introduce additional restrictions on street protests and tighten penalties for political and civil society groups receiving foreign aid.
The petition was delivered to the court on Monday.
In it, the groups asked the court to examine the bills for their compliance with the country’s constitution.
The court has time to do this now that the bill of amendments to the law governing the operation of the KGB has not yet been debated by the national legislature, while the two other bills have not yet been signed by the head of state into law, the groups said.
They warned that the pieces of legislation run counter to OSCE standards, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, apart from being in violation of the country’s constitution.
The bills would pave the way for infringements on the citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms, the groups stressed.
The petitioners included, among others, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Law Transformation Center, Alyaksandr Milinkevich's Movement for Freedom, the Mahilyow Human Rights Center and the Ecokom environmental group.