Question of non-implementation of UN decisions by Belarus and Russia raised at its 23rd session
On 5 June
as a part of the 23rd session of the UN Human
Rights Council the International Federation
for Human Rights (FIDH) with the support of Human Rights Watch
conducted a briefing on the non-fulfillment of UN resolutions by
Belarus and Russia.
The speakers who took the floor drew a parallel between the situation in the two countries and stressed that the United Nations should step up with a sharp and immediate criticism of the situation, as the space for civil society is shrinking rapidly in the Russian Federation. Otherwise the situation of squeezing human rights defenders out of the legal field and the criminalization of their activities can quickly reach the situation in Belarus.
Speaking at the press briefing Valiantsin Stefanovich, deputy chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", described the systematic neglect of UN treaty arrangements by Belarus, in particular the failure to comply with the decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee on individual citizens' complaints and decisions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
Representatives of the human rights organization "Memorial" told about the upcoming trial on charges of acting as a "foreign agent" without proper registration as such within the framework of presenting a report to the UN Committee against Torture. A representative of the LGBT network presented a report on the situation of two LGBT organizations, which had also been prosecuted, and told about the promotion of a discriminatory law that prohibits "propaganda of homosexuality". Employee of the "Agara" association summed up the results of harassment of NGOs in Russia and supported colleagues in the requirements for the UN to adequately respond to what is happening in the light of the rapid negative development of the situation in order to avoid a repetition of the Belarusian scenario where the opinion of the UN is openly ignored.
The briefing generated a considerable interest. The present members of UN member states were able to ask questions and confirm their willingness to attract the attention of the UN to the issues raised.