New UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus
The United Nations Human Rights Council decided to establish a new special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Republic of Belarus.
Friday, 06 July 2012, by HRHF Geneva Office
At its 20th session, the Human Rights Council first expressed grave concern over the pattern of serious violations of human rights since 19 December 2010, that is of a systemic nature, and includes intensified restrictions on the fundamental freedoms of association, assembly, opinion and expression, including with regard to the media, as well as allegations of torture and ill-treatment in custody, impunity of perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses, harassment of civil society organizations and human rights defenders, violations of due process and fair trial safeguards, and pressure on defence lawyers.
The Council decided to establish a special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Republic of Belarus.
Human Rights House Foundation' statement at the Human Rights Council:
The Belarusian Human Rights House and the Human Rights House Foundation, with other NGOs including the Human Rights Centre Viasna, FIDH, HRW, Amnesty International and Civicus, have advocated for the establishment of a special rapporteur and believe this new mechanism can bring additional attention to the situation in Belarus and contribute to build capacity within Belarusian civil society.
The mandate holder will be appointed at the Human Rights Council's 21st session, in September 2012.
Debate at the Human Rights Council:
HRHF Geneva Office
The resolution establishing the special rapporteur on Belarus was accepted by 22 votes against 5 and 20 abstentions.
- Yes: Austria, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Maldives, Mauritius, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, and United States of America.
- No: China, Cuba, Ecuador, India, and Russian Federation.
- Abstentions: Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Guatemala, Indonesia, Koweit, Kzrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Nigeria, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Thailand, Uganda, Uruguay.
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