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HRC56: Belarus attacks on human rights and civil society in exile

2024 2024-07-05T14:14:12+0300 2024-07-05T14:14:12+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 3 July 2024, Human Rights House Foundation delivered a statement at the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council, raising the situation for continued attacks on freedom of association, as well as attacks on Belarusians forced into exile.

“Since this is the last time the mandate holder addresses the Council as Special Rapporteur, we take this opportunity to thank her for her tireless work in often very difficult circumstances over the years. Her efforts behind the scenes, in assisting Belarusian rights holders, has not always received wide public attention, but it has been gratefully received by our Belarusian civil society partners. She will be missed in the mandate, and we wish her every success in the future.

We are gravely concerned about the continued attacks on freedom of association in Belarus, as outlined in the Rapporteur’s latest report. The history of freedom of association in Belarus since independence reads of a state in near-permanent war against its own civil society, which has only heightened since 2020, with the liquidation of all human rights organisations.

Furthermore, we draw the Council’s attention to Belarus’s ongoing attacks on its own people who have been forced into exile. Within the last month, the intended extradition of Belarusian filmmaker Andrey Gnyot, from Serbia to Belarus, and the trial and sentencing, in absentia, of human rights defender Leanid Sudalenka and journalist Hanna Liubakova are just three examples.

We urge all states to do their utmost to assist Belarusians in exile.

We ask the Special Rapporteur, what are her recommendations to the Council in supporting her mandate with her successor in mind?”

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