FIDH and its member organisation ADC Memorial urge the Belarus authorities to stop the harassment of women’s rights center "Her Rights"

  • by EECA
  • 17 September 2020

In the context of the post-electoral repression in Belarus, the government has launched a smear campaign against Women’s Rights Center "Her Rights" and its founder Sacha Dikan, while her husband Viktor Kuvshinov was arrested on bogus charges of "theft through abuse of official capacity". They all are falsely accused of sponsoring women’s marches in Belarus. FIDH and its member organisation Anti-Discrimination Center Memorial express their urgent concern about the situation and urge the Belarus authorities to immediately stop the harassment of the Center and its founder Sacha Dikan. We further urge the government of Belarus to release Viktor Kuvshinov and drop the charges against him.

The text of a statement, launched by the ADC Memorial and joined by other organizations that have participated the #AllJobs4AllWomen campaign to protect women’s labor rights, in support of the Center for Promotion of Women’s Rights – Her Rights Center and its founder, Sasha Dikan:

We are well aware of the vital and important work this organization has done to protect women from domestic violence, stand up for their labor rights, and help women with children: In 2016, ADC Memorial and Her Rights Center released a joint report about discrimination against women and later together participated in actions aimed at overcoming discriminatory barriers in labor, led a campaign to revoke the “list of professions banned for women”, and cooperated on strategic legal defense.

Repressions against civil society in Belarus reached an unprecedented high in 2020: Wild accusations were also made against Her Rights Center and personally against Sasha Dikan, whose husband, Viktor Kuvshinov, was recently arrested and declared a political prisoner by human rights defenders.

Viktor Kuvshinov was accused of supporting the company where he worked – Pandadoc – and the human rights work of Her Rights Center, while Her Rights was charged with allegedly helping to organize women’s protests this summer.

We are in full agreement with the following statement issued by Her Rights Center and can confirm their words:

Politics is not the Center’s line of work; in fact, participation in political processes is in direct contradiction to the professional and ethical principle of human rights defense to maintain political neutrality and impartiality.

Over the time of its operation, the Center has helped over 1,500 women in difficult situations stand up for their rights. We work on gender discrimination, domestic violence, and labor and social discrimination.

We have no doubt that the charge of “financing women’s marches” is utter nonsense: The protests were provoked by the government of Belarus itself, which violated the rights of its people. Meanwhile, Her Rights Center works to protect women from violence and discrimination – an important and, sadly, pressing concern.
We demand an end to the persecution of Her Rights Center and freedom for political prisoners in Belarus!