FIDH calls on international community to support extension of UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus’ mandate

2016 2016-05-26T13:29:00+0300 2016-05-26T15:57:19+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 30 June, the U.N. Human Rights Council will vote on whether or not to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus. It is essential for the future of the citizens of this country to keep the Special Rapporteur in place.

FIDH has launched a campaign to urge the Member States that are still hesitating (including Georgia, Mexico and Mongolia) to support the renewal of the mandate. The campaign’s website invites people to send them a message and ask them to keep monitoring the human rights situation in Belarus and do everything to improve the situation.

“Despite some cosmetic measures, the nature of the regime in power for almost 22 years has not changed. The Belarusian civil society is still under the pressure. We are being watched and become victims of provocations,” says Ales Bialiatski, FIDH vice-president and chairman of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", who spent nearly three years in Belarusian prisons over his human rights work. “The UN Special Rapporteur is the only international mechanism for monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in the country. His mandate should be extended.”

The systemic nature of human rights violations in Belarus is confirmed by video testimonies by a number of key Belarusian human rights defenders, including Alena Tankachova (Legal Transformation Center Lawtrend), Andrei Bastunets (Belarusian Association of Journalists), Raisa Mikhailouskaya (Belarusian Documentation Center), Valiantsin Stefanovich (Human Rights Center "Viasna"), and Natallia Mankouskaya (Human Rights Center “Identity”).

In a series of exclusive interviews published on the website, they talk about alarming facts and systematic violations of various rights: freedom of the press and freedom of expression, freedom of association, the rights of LGBT persons, as well as the death penalty, political prisoners, and much more.

“To be specific, this is the only country in Europe with the death penalty, the only country in Europe where 70% of the economy belongs to the State under the command of the President. For 20 years now, there has been no opposition in Parliament,” Miklos Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, said in an interview for site.