Human Rights Council extends mandate on Belarus
The Human Rights Council this morning adopted six resolutions in which it, among other actions, extended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
In a resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus, adopted by a vote of 22 in favor, 5 against and 20 abstentions, 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.
The resolution urges the Belarusian authorities to guarantee a free, fair and transparent presidential election on 9 August, and to take all reasonable measures to facilitate a peaceful process, in accordance with the State's international obligations and commitments.
The Council called on the government of Belarus to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, including by allowing her access to visit the country and to meet freely with relevant stakeholders, including civil society, in her official capacity in order to assist the government in fulfilling its international human rights obligations and by considering the implementation of her recommendations, and also urged the government to extend full cooperation to thematic special procedures.
The decision was taken against the background of unprecedented repression in Belarus ahead of the August 9 presidential election.
On July 10, Anaïs Marin, who currently holds the post of Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, said in a press release that the international community must continue scrutinizing human rights situation ahead of the vote.
The call was supported by five leading international human rights organizations, Amnesty International, Civil Rights Defenders, Human Rights House Foundation, Human Rights Watch and FIDH, who urged the UN Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.
“The recent crackdown on human rights defenders, journalists and members of the political opposition over the last couple of months ahead of the Presidential election in August provides a clear justification for renewing the Special Procedures mandate,” they said in an open letter to the Council.