Belarusian authorities deny UN special rapporteur entry to Belarus

2005 2005-04-19T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Radio Liberty
The Belarusian authorities do not want to see Adrian Severin in Minsk, said Foreign Minister of Belarus Siarhei Martynau on 18 April. According to Mr. Martynau, what Mr. Severin presented at the session of the Human Rights Committee was a compilation from the US State Department report rather than his own review.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Belarus voiced his opinion of Adrian Severin’s speech at the 18 April press-briefing. Before he talked with the journalists, he attended a joint meeting of the members of the international committee of the Chamber of Representatives and Foreign Ministry. The meeting largely centered around the speech by Mr. Severin, said one of the deputies.
The Foreign Minister of Belarus was highly critical of Adrian Severin’s report:
(Martynau: ) “We cooperate with quite a few procedural commissions in the field of human rights, and quite successfully by the way, which was noted at this session of this committee. As regards the so-called special rapporteur for Belarus (Adrian Severin), we have earlier regarded as undesirable his stay in Belarus in this capacity, and we continue to keep to the same opinion. The report he produced in Geneva was absolutely unprecedented. Given the biases occasionally dominating the human rights committee, this report does not comply with procedures used for preparing such reports. Strictly speaking, this was a compilation of the human rights in Belarus report prepared by US State Department”.
This year in March the former Foreign Minister of Romania, the former head of the special working group for Belarus in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the former president of the OSCE parliamentary assembly Adrian Severin presented his report on the human rights situation in Belarus. In summer 2004 he was appointed the special rapporteur for Belarus. Since then he has repeatedly attempted to visit Belarus to see with his own eyes what the situation in the country is like. However, the Belarusian authorities refused the entry visa to him each time. However, Adrian Severin visited Belarus, according to him, at least ten times. These visits mostly occurred when Mr. Severin first headed the special working group of the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE for Belarus, and when he then headed all of the Parliamentary Assembly.