UK Foreign Ministry: Human rights situation in Belarus remains poor

2009 2009-03-31T14:46:51+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The United Kingdom included Belarus in the list of 20 countries where serious violations of human rights can be noticed.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK (FCO) issued an annual report on human rights, Radio Svaboda reports.

The report gives special attention to 20 countries of concern, where, according to the British Government, violations of human rights are very serious. Belarus is among these countries.

The chapter devoted to Belarus notes the overall human rights situation in Belarus remains poor during the last year. In this context the report mentioned the “parliamentary elections” on September 28, 2008, fell short of the OSCE democratic standards.

According to the British Government, the Belarusian regime continues to harass civil society, NGOs and the independent media. The report mentioned the cruel dispersal and beating of participants of the demonstration on March 25, 2008 in Minsk.

The British Government emphasises that the Belarusian authorities have still failed to open an independent investigation on the disappearances of opposition politicians Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasouski, Yury Zakharanka, and a journalist Zmitser Zavadski.

The report also turns attention to a positive step by the Belarusian regime, released all political prisoners before the “parliamentary elections” last year.

The document notes in November 2008, when visa bans were suspended, Belarusian Prime Minister Syarhei Sidorski visited London and met Caroline Flint, UK Europe Minister. This was the first meeting between UK and Belarusian ministers since the EU introduced a ban on ministerial contact in 1997.