Liquidated rights group regains legal status under new name


The members of a prisoners' rights group called Platforma that was closed down by a court earlier this year have founded an organization under a new name.

Speaking to reporters in Minsk on Friday, Platforma leader Andrey Bandarenka said that the new organization was registered by the Belarusian capital's authorities on December 7.

The new group, which has the English name Platform Innovation, is a "de facto successor" to Platforma, Mr. Bandarenka said.

"Platforma was closed down because it provided assistance to ordinary citizens of Belarus, raised very pressing problems, such as human rights abuse, torture, the denial of citizens' right to defend their honor and dignity," he stressed.

"The word 'innovation' included in the name of the new organization means that we will defend not only human rights but also people themselves in a country where their rights are flagrantly violated by the state," said Mr. Bandarenka. //BelaPAN