Belarusian human rights defenders urge UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to establish office in Minsk

2013 2013-10-28T16:29:46+0300 2013-10-28T16:29:46+0300 en

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should establish a mission in Belarus, the delegates to the Third Belarusian Human Rights Forum, which took place in Vilnius on Saturday and Sunday, say in a statement.

The delegates also urge the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to take measures to encourage Belarusian authorities to respect human rights. It is necessary for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to preserve its Ad Hoc Working Group on Belarus and for all OSCE institutions and bodies, including the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, to step up cooperation with Belarus' civil society, the statement says.

The delegates condemn violations of human rights by Belarusian authorities and urge them to abide by international commitments and implement recommendations within the framework of the UN Universal Periodic Review.

Authorities should invite all UN special rapporteurs to visit Belarus, above all, the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on Belarus, the delegates say.

According to the statement, Belarus does not submit timely regular reports on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ignores decisions of the UN Human Rights Committee and is reluctant to sign international treaties requiring the abolition of the death penalty.