Eine Polizeikette steht hinter Stacheldraht. Eine Polizeikette steht hinter Stacheldraht.
Democracy and human rights

National Youth Council of Belarus dissolved

Repression continues to intensify

On 23 July, the Ministry of Justice of Belarus declared the National Youth Council RADA dissolved. RADA is the umbrella organisation of independent youth organisations in Belarus. On the same day, over 40 other NGOs were dissolved. The official reason given was: "The organisations have repeatedly violated the law". No details were given on what these violations of the law consisted of. Staff of RADA and its affiliates are now at high risk of prosecution.

28.07.2021 / Christian Herrmann

For RADA and the other organisations concerned, the decision of the Ministry of Justice means that all their activities are now considered illegal. The NGOs can no longer hold events, including educational programmes, cultural events and international exchange programmes. This means that international youth exchanges are also directly affected.

The Belarusian Ministry of Justice requested lists of personal data from members of the affected organisations. Among other things, it asked for names, addresses, telephone numbers and emergency contacts. This indicates that a further wave of arrests is to be expected. Chairpersons, activists and founders of RADA and other NGOs are now at high risk of arrest, trial and long prison sentences.

As a consequence, the shutdown of Belarusian civil society means that there will be no non-formal education, no democratic institutions, no cultural events, no protection of human rights in the country for the foreseeable future.

A spokesperson for RADA commented as follows: "We have got used to this government terror and hopefully we will find a way out of it. But right now we need the support of the international community, because this act is an aggravation of the regime and its control over us, as well as a violation of the rights of Belarusian citizens."

The German Federal Youth Council has issued a statement on the dissolution of its Belarusian partner organisation.

German institutions that previously facilitated education and international contacts have also been affected by the latest wave of repression. The Goethe Institute and the DAAD have been ordered to close their offices in Minsk at the end of the month. The German Foreign Office has already taken a position on the matter.

Ein junger Mann spricht in ein Mikrofon
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IJAB understands international youth work and youth policy cooperation as contributors towards a strong civil society, a democratic polity, and greater social justice.