Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum

Statement of the Belarusian National Platform on cancellation of the residence permit in Belarus of Elena Tonkacheva

Tagged under National Platforms

The EaP CSF Steering Committee has endorsed the statement of the Belarussian National Platform of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, expressing concern regarding the cancellation of the residence permit of Elena Tonkacheva, the human rights defender and the chairperson of the Board of the Legal Transformation Center (Lawtrend) in Belarus. 

Since 1985, Elena Tonkacheva, citizen of the Russian Federation, has been living in Belarus where she finished school, received higher jurisprudential education, has a constant residence and a job, family and property. We know Elena Tonkacheva as an active figure of civil society, qualified expert, and leader of the human rights defending organization. For 20 years, she and her organization have rendered professional legal and expert support to numerous non-commercial organizations in Belarus and people in the situations when human rights have been infringed. The formal basis for the residence permit abolition is the facts that Elena Tonkacheva broke traffic regulations (she insignificantly exceeded the speed limit).

We think that the decision to cancel the residence permit and the threat to expel her from the territory of our country is a politically motivated and disproportionate sanction in comparison with the danger of the committed misdoing. The real basis is Elena Tonkacheva’s political position and active human rights defending activity. 

Full statement 

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