In its recent resolution, the UN Human Rights Council remains critical of the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus. In turn, the Belarusian Foreign stated that both the resolution and the idea of its adoption were ‘absurd’.
“The Council expresses continued concern at the allegations of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment by law enforcement and prison officers, which are not properly investigated by the authorities; the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, trade unions and civil society organizations, many of which are denied registration and some of which are occasionally raided by the authorities; the arrest and fining of journalists for performing their journalistic activities and various infringements of freedom of expression, including by the media,” the resolution reads.
There has been no progress on four cases of enforced disappearance of political opponents (Yury Zakharanka, Viktar Hanchar, Anatol Krasouski, Dzmitry Zavadski) dating back to 1999 and 2000, the UNHRC stressed.
The resolution was made on the basis of the report by Anais Marin, the body’s special rapporteur on Belarus. On July 12, the UN Human Rights Council voted on Friday to extend her mandate for another year.
However, according to the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the mandate is an ‘unfair and discriminatory measure’.
“The resolution does not match the spirit of current relations between Belarus and the European Union. We are convinced the mandate of the special rapporteur and the resolution should be abolished,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes the ministry.
On 28 June 2012, the Human Rights Council established the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. The mandate has since then been renewed each year. From 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2018, Mr. Miklos Haraszti (Hungary) had been Special Rapporteur. Since 1 November 2018, French political scientist Anais Marin, an expert on international relations and, in particular, post-communist transformations in Central and Eastern Europe assumes the functions.