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Image: Miklós Haraszti, Special Rappoteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, addresses the thirty-second session of the Human Rights Council. 
Copyright: UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

UN mandate on Belarus must be renewed

The Government of Belarus has returned to “the policy of large-scale repression against citizens who exercise or defend their rights,” says the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, Miklós Haraszti.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017, by humanrightshouse.org

He also expresses that “the human rights situation in Belarus has seen a dramatic deterioration," in his report to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June.

The report outlines the strict control of public life exercised by the authorities and the steep deterioration in their handling of assembly, association and media rights. The Special Rapporteur deems it necessary for the international community to remain vigilant over the situation of human rights in Belarus.

At the same Human Rights Council session at which the report will be presented, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur is up for renewal. Human Rights House Tbilisi and the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, with Human Rights House Foundation, call for the renewal of the mandate. In a letter they write:

“Following a recent serious deterioration in Belarus’ human rights situation, and its continued policy of non-cooperation with international human rights mechanisms, the Human Rights Council should use the renewal of the Belarus mandate to urge Belarus to return to engagement and move toward robust domestic human rights policy. The Special Rapporteur furthermore is the sole international human rights monitoring mechanism able to assess the systemic nature of the human rights violations in Belarus.”

The same partners worked together on establishing the mandate of a UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus in July 2012, and ensuring its successful renewals, the latest of which came in July 2016.

HRHF and Amnesty International, FIDH, and Human Rights Watch have written to member and observer states of the Human Rights Council, urging them to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur as the only independent international monitor of human rights in the country.

The letter calls on the Human Rights Council to maintain international scrutiny over the human rights situation in Belarus until tangible steps are taken by the government of Belarus to improve respect for human rights.

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Documents:

Briefing note on Belarus for HRC 35: Crackdown shows importance of renewing HRC mandate

This May 2017 briefing note on Belarus was prepared by Human Rights House Foundation with the support of the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, for the 35th session of the Human Rights Council.
Download »

Joint NGO letter to HRC 35, urging States to support renewal of the mandate on Belarus

HRHF and Amnesty International, FIDH, and Human Rights Watch have written to member and observer states of the Human Rights Council, urging them to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur as the only independent international monitor of human rights in the country.
Download »

HRH Tbilisi, Belarusian HRH, HRHF urge Georgia to support renewal of UN Belarus ma…

Human Rights House Tbilisi and the Barys Zvozskau Belarusian Human Rights House, with HRHF, have written to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, urging support at the June 2017 session of the Human Rights Council for the renewal of the UN mandate on Belarus.

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