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Belarus human rights situation worsens after presid election-UN

September 20, 2011, 4:28 UTC+3

The report advises the Belarusian authorities to “immediately and unconditionally release all political opponents, activists and journalists who are not involved in violence”

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GENEVA, September 20 (Itar-Tass) — The human rights situation in Belarus “significantly deteriorated after the 19 December 2010 presidential election,” it is stated in a report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that has been made available to Itar-Tass. The UN main human rights defender is expected to submit her report on Wednesday within a regular session of the UN Human Rights Council underway in Geneva.

The report advises the Belarusian authorities, in particular, to “immediately and unconditionally release all political opponents, activists and journalists who are not involved in violence” that occurred during riots last December. In addition, the document contains the calls to Minsk “to conduct a fair, credible and impartial investigation into the circumstances under which these people were detained and arrested, all allegations of torture and ill treatment.”

Pillay also intends in her report to demand from the Belarusian authorities to “immediately end all forms of political and administrative pressure on and harassment of human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents,” to revise the country’s Criminal Code to bring it into compliance with Belarus’ obligations in the field of human rights. The report contains a separate recommendation to allow experts of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to visit the country.

The in detail describes the events following the riot in Minsk on December 19, 2010. In particular, it cites examples of violations of the rights to judicial protection, freedom of expression, freedom of association.

The US Department of State repeatedly criticised President Alexander Lukashenko’s totalitarian regime, describing it as “a brutal, authoritarian dictatorship that blatantly ignores human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Numerous assessments of the United Nations, United States and European and Euro-Atlantic organisations demonstrate Belarus’s disregard for human rights, lack of independent judiciary, subservience of Belarusian courts to Lukashenko’s administration and members of Lukashenko’s corrupt inner-circle; routine use of Belarusian judiciary as an artifice for accomplishing improper political objectives and accommodating the private interests of the powers that be.

United Nations Human Rights Council noted that Belarusian political system is “incompatible with the concept of human rights,” Belarus has been dubbed “the last true remaining dictatorship in the heart of Europe” by the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Belarus is subject of US sanctions for “undermining democratic process and constituting an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” It is also subject of the sanctions imposed by the European Union for egregious human rights violations.

Belarus has been repeatedly determined to be a habitual violator of international laws of human rights and universally accepted norms of international behaviour by the UN, US, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the European Council, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. As stated by the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus “it is impossible to believe that all these people are wrong or biased.”


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