MFA Press Secretary Comments on US Report about Human Rights Violations in Belarus
At a briefing on 15 March, responding to BelaPAN request to comment on the US State Department’s report on human rights violations in Belarus in 2006, MFA’s press secretary Andrei Papou claimed: “The United States have neither moral, nor political right to prepare reports on human rights violations in the countries of the world”.
He stressed that there was no international decision which would empower the United States to prepare documents of that kind. Besides that, according to Andrei Papou, America itself is far from being perfect in implementing human rights”
The press secretary of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also added that China prepared annual reports about human rights violations in the United States. “Why should Belarus, as a sovereign country, react to any documents prepared by another state?”, -- Papou said.
On March 6 the U.S. Department of State has published a new annual report on human rights practices in 2006. The report notes that presidential elections on March 19 that declared Lukashenko president for a consecutive third term failed to meet international standards for democratic elections. The government continued to ignore recommendations by major international organizations to improve election processes and human rights.
Special attention was given to arbitrary arrests, detentions, and imprisonment of citizens for political reasons, criticizing officials, or participating in demonstrations. The report pointed out that “the government further restricted civil liberties, including freedoms of press, speech, assembly, association, and religion”.