UN Special Rapporteur not let in Belarus
In May, the issue of extending the powers of the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus is to be decided.
Today Belarusian human rights activists meet with UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, Miklos Haraszti. This was reported to Radio Liberty by Deputy Chairman of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" Valentin Stefanovich.
Haraszti will consult with the Belarusian human rights defenders in the preparation of the report on the human rights situation.
"It will be consultations with the Belarusian human rights organizations on the assessment of the overall situation in the country in different directions, but mainly on political and civil rights. Then in May, United Nations Human Rights Council will decide on the prolongation of work of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus and his powers. It is difficult to predict the decision bearing in mind the events in Ukraine. For us it is quite an important mechanism to assess the situation, since the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was established by United Nations Human Rights Council," emphasizes the human rights activist.
Mr. Stefanovich recalls that the Belarusian authorities refuse to cooperate with Haraszti and do not recognize the mandate of the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations.
"The Special Rapporteur has't been allowed to visit Belarus even once in order to assess the situation on the ground, including through meetings with representatives of the Belarusian authorities. So we have to meet outside Belarus," he states.
The meeting will be held in Vilnius in the House of human rights and will continue for two days.
The main theses, which will be presented by the Belarusian human rights defenders during these consultations, are contained in the report of the Human Rights Centre "Viasna" "Human rights situation in 2014: Trends and Evaluation", published on the website of the Human Rights Centre. The report notes that "the situation of human rights during 2014 remained consistently poor with a tendency to deterioration at the end of the year".
"Human rights violations were of both systemic and systematic nature: basic civil and political rights were extremely restricted, there were no systemic changes in the field of human rights (at the legislative level and (or) at the level of practices)," reeds the document.
From the perspective of human rights, the only positive factor for 2014 was the release from prison of Ales Bialiatski under the law "On Amnesty".