Igor Rynkevich, Civil verdict
What was important in the life of civil society in Belarus over the last year?
Since August last year, the Belarusian society preserved the old trend, increasingly negative. Civil and political rights are often violated official power. In September, were the next "parliamentary elections", and many people "voted with their feet." there. In addition to voting rights, especially freedom trampled ssembly and association. Arbitrary denial of registration democratic associations, have been hampered for activities NGOs: were not provided meeting space for loose and restrictions in order to attract funding. Autumn was a series of tax audits against a number of leaders of civil and human rights organizations. As before, remain barriers to international contacts, as for leaving some representatives of Belarusian organizations and for visits to our overseas partners. Therefore, the Belarusians have to register organizations abroad. In the spring of 2013 my colleagues and I have set up in Vilnius public institution "League of Democracy" Civil Verdict ", which was the most important for us event.
What can activists and human rights activists in other countries to help change the situation in Belarus?
It is very important to strengthen international cooperation among non-profit organizations. In the first place, to do it with the organizations that are set up on the democratic changes, rather than on their imitation. The more that the government has increased the number of created quasi-opposition organizations and structures, such as "pro-state" NGO.
It is important that contacts of Belarusian NGOs, including their regional foreign colleagues was constantly expanding. And thus it is good, if NGOs do not report its exclusivity, do not claim to monopoly of knowledge and truth in the instance. Sore point was the predominant western financing so NGO called elite in a democratic environment. Remains the most important foreign solidarity with persecuted activists in Belarus, demands not only release political prisoners, but also to rehabilitate them.
What gives you the strength to continue work personally in the civilian sector?
I scoop the force in love for the country, in the faith in God, in the support of friends and colleagues, including those from Russia. I am also convinced of the rightness of our activities for the benefit of all citizens, that freedom and democracy in Belarus will triumph!