Yesterday, Wednesday, 20/01/2021, the Administrative Court had the first hearing of KISA’s appeal (interim order and main application) against the deregistration of KISA by the Ministry of Interior. The position of the government’s lawyer was that they would need time to prepare their objection to the interim order. The Court suggested withdrawing the application for an interim order and expediting the examination of the main application against the decision to deregister KISA.
Taking into account that the interim order would take a few months to be heard, especially under the Covid 19 conditions, and the additional period that the main application would take to be heard after a decision on the interim order (approximately 1.5 years), our lawyer agreed with the suggestion of the Court. It was considered to be in the interest of KISA to have an expedited procedure on the actual decision to deregister KISA. The main application was set for a hearing on 26 February, at 9 am, whilst in the meantime the Court gave directions for the written submissions of the parties.
At this stage KISA does not regain legal protection as an NGO as per the decision of 14/12/2020 to remove it from the Register of Associations. Taking into consideration on the one hand the appeal to the administrative Court and, on the other, the fact that deregistration is different to dissolution under the particular Law, KISA will continue its full operation.
The most important and promising development of the last few days is the enormous solidarity movement with statements and other acts of support and solidarity with KISA[i] and its struggle from European and international networks, independent human rights institutions, Think Tanks, Experts and activists, to whom KISA conveys its sincere thanks and appreciation.
It is noted that KISA has submitted to the Registrar of Associations all formal requirements of the Law[ii], namely its audited accounts for 2019, the amended statutes and the names of the new Steering Committee, with their positions and contact details.
The new Steering Committee of KISA, unanimously elected at the recent General Assembly, had its first meeting on Monday, 18/01/2021, and set itself up as body, with the election of Anthoula Papadopoulou, Simon Bahceli and Thrasos Nerantzis to the positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively. The other members of the 11-strong Steering Committee are: Andrea Nemes, Leandros Savvides, Malik Shahrukh, Maria Chrysanthou, Nicoletta Charalambidou, Petros Heracleous, Vagelio Soumeli and Zelia Gregoriou.
Enriched with diverse and varied professional and ethnic backgrounds, skills and experience, interests and civil society activism, all members of the new Steering Committee vouched their dedication and determination to work closely as a team and in cooperation with KISA’s staff, members and friends, networks and other activists, first for fighting against the new attack against KISA and then for strengthening and further developing the organisation to more effectively and decisively pursue the realisation of its mandate for equality, diversity, safeguarding and promotion of human rights and the rule of law for all people.