FIDH: UN must demonstrate its capacity to react
Facing criticism once again, the Human Rights Council must demonstrate its relevance at its June session which opened yesterday. Belarus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, among others... FIDH and its members voice their priorities for this 35th session.
A NECESSARY MANDATE RENEWAL ON THE BELARUSIAN ISSUE
As pointed out on several occasions by FIDH and its member organization the Human Rights Center "Viasna", the human rights situation in Belarus has been steadily deteriorating in recent months, culminating in the severe crackdown against peaceful demonstrators and detention of the observers, on the background of a police raid at the Viasna office in Minsk on the morning of the 25 March demonstrations against the Lukashenko government’s imposition of a tax on the unemployed.  Two persons currently in detention were recognized political prisoners, after a short period of release of all previous political prisoners. Moreover, recourse to the death penalty has resumed in 2016,  on track to reach the highest number per year since 2008. The worsening of the situation was confirmed by the UN Special Rapporteur, Miklós Haraszti, in his 2017 report. His recommendation is straightforward:
«The current level of scrutiny by the United Nations of the respect for human rights in Belarus must therefore be maintained, especially given the response to the recent demonstrations.»
The Council must therefore act, and support the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate. In view of the increasing human rights violations in Belarus, it is crucial that the international community reaffirms its support for what is effectively the only comprehensive international human rights monitoring tool in the country.
 FIDH and Viasna published a report in October 2016 on the death penalty in Belarus, available on our website: https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/belarus683angbassdef.pdf