In her previous report to the Human Rights Council, at its 50th session, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus concluded that “the Government’s policies of systematic persecution, intimidation, harassment and the use of criminal and administrative charges in an attempt to suppress civic activism, freedom of the media and participation in public affairs have led to the virtual eradication of civic space, while the constitutional reform fails to address pressing issues”.
In the year since her last report, there has been no evidence that Belarus has taken steps to implement any of the recommendations made by either the UN Special Rapporteur or the OHCHR examination of the human rights situation in Belarus.
There is also no evidence Belarus has taken any other form or remedial action in relation to the widespread human rights violations that have taken place in its country. Rather, the situation has further deteriorated, and Belarus has reduced the few international avenues available for redress, most notably withdrawing from the Optional Protocal to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights earlier this year.
This side event in the margins of the 53rd Human Rights Council session updated states on the constantly deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus from the perspective of civil society, particularly with respect to the most serious violations occurring in the country and the need to continue international attention through the extension and strengthening of existing HRC mandates.