Belarusian Helsinki Committee head Tatsyana Protska (file photo) (Bymedia.net)
January 31, 2007 -- Belarusian authorities backtracked today, reversing a decision to evict a leading human rights group from its office in Minsk.
Tatsyana Protska, the head of the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, said the presidential administration, which owns the premises, had informed her that the lease had been extended for another year.
The BHC was forced out of its Minsk office on January 29. The move deprived the BHC of a registered address, giving authorities a possible legal pretext to close down the group.
The United States, the European Union, and international rights groups had denounced the move against the NGO as harassment by the authoritarian regime of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
(dpa, Charter 97)