UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus
On June 27, the delegates of the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, the UN News Centre said.
The Council decided “to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus for a period of one year” and requested the Special Rapporteur to “submit a report on the situation of human rights in Belarus to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session and to the General Assembly at its seventieth session”. A resolution entitled “Situation of human rights in Belarus” was supported by 24 delegations. Seven members of the Council were against and 16 abstained.
The resolution expressed deep concern at “continuing violations of human rights in Belarus”. The authors of the resolution stressed that these violations “of a systemic and systematic nature”. They highlight the use of torture in Belarusian prisons. The document refers to the “lack of response by the Government of Belarus to cases of enforced disappearance of political opponents, the impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations, the violations of labour rights amounting to forced labour, the significant gaps in anti-discrimination legislation, the pressure on defence lawyers, and the lack of participation of opposition political parties in Parliament”.
It urges the Government to undertake an electoral reform, as well as a comprehensive reform of the justice sector.
On 28 June 2012, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus was established by the Human Rights Council in its resolution 20/13. On 1 November 2012, Mr. Miklós Haraszti assumed the functions of the Special Rapporteur. In 2013, the mandate was extended.