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Belarus government seeks shutdown of human rights group

[JURIST] The Belarus Ministry of Justice [official website] has asked the Belarus Supreme Court to close down the Belarus Helsinki Committee [advocacy website], a leading human rights group that has consistently criticized the authoritarian government of President Alexander Lukashenko [official website; BBC profile]. A Ministry motion to the Supreme Court accused the local Helsinki Committee, chartered in 1995 to protect human rights following the Helsinki Accords [text], of posting unauthorized observers at 2004 parliamentary elections [OSCE materials], of occupying office space reserved for residential housing and of committing tax violations.

The move is the latest in an ongoing dispute between the government and the Committee; last fall, the United States urged Belarus to stop harassing the human rights organization [US State Department report]. AP has more.

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