Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council is expected to issue a decision soon on two pieces of legislation concerning non-governmental organizations that have the potential to influence the course of the country’s political development.
The two laws stand to curtail the operational capabilities of NGOs engaged in democratization-related activities. The laws -- officially named "On the Activities of Branches and Representative Offices of International or Foreign Non-Commercial Organizations" and "On the Introduction of Amendments and Additions into Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Matters Related to Non-Profit Organizations – would significantly tighten government oversight of financial interaction between local NGOs and international entities. The legislation would also prohibit local NGOs from funding political parties and supporting the candidacies of a particular Kazakhstani politicians. Taken together, most local NGOs would effectively be barred from playing a significant role in the political process, given that foreign donors comprise the major part of their funding base. If the Constitutional Council upholds the laws, Zhovtis asserted that "it will create serious damage to the process of democratization."
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.