GENEVA, September 21 (Itar-Tass) — The situation with human rights in Belarus does not demand the international community and the U.N. Human Rights Council react to it, Russian permanent representative to the U.N. Office and Other International Organisations in Geneva Valery Loshchinin said.
Speaking at a session devoted the situation with human rights in Belarus, Loshchinin said he considered the resolution on Belarus “counter-productive and politicised”.
“This biased resolution is used to circulate unreliable information,” the diplomat said. “No country is free of human rights violations. The existing problems should be discussed, but on an equal and mutually respectful basis,” he said.
The U.N. Human Rights Council has such mechanism – the Universal Periodic Review. “Belarus went through this process in 2010,” Loshchinin recalled. “However, the OHCHR report ignored this fact. Although it is known that Minsk accepted the majority of recommendations and implemented the considerable part of them,” the Russian permanent representative said.
“It is necessary to stress that the Belarusian government invited certain structures of the U.N. Human Rights Council and the OHCHR to visit the country in order to study the situation on the ground. We believe it necessary to positively react to Belarus’ proposals without any preconditions,” he stressed.
In his view, “Belarus proves its readiness to maintain cooperation and develop an international dialogue on human rights. To this end, we are bewildered with the attempts to rivet more attention to the situation in Belarus.”
Commenting on the last December events in Belarus after the presidential elections, Loshchinin stressed that they “are by no means harmless”. “With support by various ‘well- wishers’ government buildings and institutions were attacked on. There were attempts to seize power. In this connection it is strange that the use of tough force against demonstrators by certain Western countries passes unnoticed by international human rights structures,” the diplomat said. “Unfortunately, the OHCHR would rather rely on unreliable reports and doubtful sources, which are even not named. Such approaches towards human rights should be given up,” Loshchinin said.
Earlier, the UN's rights Chief, Navi Pillay, called on Belarus to release all political opponents, and to allow her offices to visit the country to assess the human rights situation there.
In a report on the situation in Belarus, the head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called on Minsk to "immediately and unconditionally release all political opponents, activists and journalists, who were not involved in any violence."
She also said, "In order for OHCHR to directly and objectively assess the human rights situation, and engage in a constructive dialogue with the Government, I request the authorities to accept an OHCHR mission to Belarus."
In June, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Belarus' crackdown on the opposition and asked Pillay to monitor and issue a preliminary report on the rights situation in the country in September.
In her report, she expressed concerns about "a pattern of violations in the human rights situation in Belarus following the December 19 2010 presidential elections."
President Alexander Lukashenko won the elections with a landslide victory which has been condemned as unfair by European observers.
Since the disputed polls, the government has cracked down on protestors and imprisoned several opposition leaders.
In her report, "significant segments" of which come from secondary sources, Pillay lists a number of rights abuses that occurred since the elections.
"Particular concerns relate to rights to freedoms of association, assembly, conscience, speech, and right to a fair trial," she said.
"Serious allegations of torture and ill-treatment in custody, impunity of perpetrators, violations of due judicial process, lack of independence of judges and pressure on defence lawyers require on-site investigation," she said.
She called on Belarus authorities to investigate rights abuses and bring those responsible to justice.