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UN Human Rights Council adopts critical resolution on Belarus and extends mandate of Special Rapporteur Video

2017 2017-06-23T13:08:17+0300 2017-06-23T13:14:01+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted today at its 35th session to approve the resolution of the situation of human rights in Belarus.

The Resolution, which also extended the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, was adopted by 18 votes in favor and 8 against. 21 members of the Council abstained.

The document “expresses continued concern at the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus, especially the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association and expression, as demonstrated by the response of the Government of Belarus to the February and March 2017 peaceful protests.”

“The continued allegations of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment by law enforcement and prison officers, which are not properly investigated by the authorities; the ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society organizations, many of which are denied registration, or raided by the authorities; the arrest of journalists in March 2017 and various infringements on freedom of expression, including by the media; and urges the Government to fully respect freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” says the Resolution.

The text stresses the use of death penalty “without guarantee of due process and at the limited amount of relevant information with regard to its use”.

It also urges Belarus to “implement without delay the comprehensive reform of the electoral legal framework and to address long-standing systemic shortcomings pertaining to the electoral legal framework and practices ahead of the local elections early in 2018.”

In its decision to extend by one year the mandate of the country Rapporteur, the UN Human Rights Council called on Belarus to “fully cooperate with the Special Rapporteur, including by providing him access to visit the country in order to assist the Government in fulfilling its international human rights obligations and by considering implementation of his recommendations.”

The Special Rapporteur’s report was presented to the Council on June 14. The Rapporteur, Mr. Miklós Haraszti, criticized Belarus for the government’s crackdown on peaceful protests in February and March 2017 and called on the Council to preserve the international scrutiny of the human rights situation in the country.

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