HRC 50 – EU Statement: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Belarus

(Source: EEAS)

Mr. President,

The EU wishes to thank the Special Rapporteur for her report.

We are extremely concerned about intensifying systematic and widespread repression and attacks against civil society, human rights defenders and independent media in Belarus.

The number of political prisoners passed 1200 and continues to grow. Detainees, including women and children, are held in inhumane conditions and subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, deprived of their rights to a fair trial. We are shocked by reported arbitrary executions of prisoners in custody and again strongly urge Belarus to introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step to abolish the death penalty.

We are deeply concerned about further increasing legislative restrictions of the rights to freedom of expression, including access to information, freedom of peaceful assembly and association and other human rights. In particular, we deplore recent amendments to the Criminal Code widening the application of the death penalty. We are also concerned about reported negative and potentially far-reaching human rights consequences of some of the newly adopted provisions of the new Constitution.

We continue to call on Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners and drop all charges against them, cease their brutal harassment and reprisals against civil society organisations, human rights defenders, journalists and other media workers, trade unions, persons belonging to national and other minorities, as well as other individuals solely for exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We strongly condemn the involvement of Belarus in Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, as well as its repression against persons speaking out against this war of  aggression and the restrictions on access to information about the war.

We continue to urge Belarus to cooperate with international human rights monitoring mechanisms, to implement their recommendations, to fully uphold its obligations under international law and to create a safe environment in which everybody is able to equally and fully enjoy all human rights.

Madam Special Rapporteur, could you elaborate, how can we better support the suppressed civil society and independent media in Belarus?

Thank you.

 

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