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Right Livelihood made a statement on civil society erasure in Belarus

2023 2023-10-09T15:21:00+0300 2023-10-09T16:21:22+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The UN Secretary-General’s report on intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders who work with the United Nations found an increase in laws aimed at restricting civil society. It also highlighted a rise in the online and offline monitoring of human rights defenders.

"In light of these trends, we alerted the Council to the situation for human rights defenders in Belarus, where activists suffer from systematic reprisals, laws targeting civil society organisations and arbitrary prison sentences", writes Right Livelihood.

The Belarusian human rights organisation Viasna, which received the Right Livelihood Award in 2020, has suffered from a crackdown on civil society. Activists who were forced to flee the country can now be tried in absentia and stripped of their citizenship. Belarus’s repressive laws have nearly wiped out civil society altogether.

Belarus designated Viasna an “extremist formation” in August 2023, making it easier for authorities to persecute those affiliated with the organisation.

"How could the United Nations and INGOs better react to these trends and mitigate risks faced by human rights defenders interacting with them?", asks Right Livelihood, addressing the president of the UN human rights council.

You can read the entire statement here.

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