UN Special Rapporteur informed about repression and political prisoners in Belarus

Human rights activists met with Miklós Haraszti, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus, in Vilnius on November 12-13, 2012.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Belarusian and international human rights organizations.

Valiantsin Stefanovich, the deputy head of the Human Rights Centre “Viasna”, told charter97.org that Belarusian activists informed Miklós Haraszti about human rights violations in the country:

“We discussed different issues at the meeting from the problem of political prisoners to freedom of association and assembly, free speech and religious rights. We tried to give as much information as possible. We conduced an analysis from problems in legislation to application of the legislation. We tried to cover all key aspects of human rights problems in our country.”

The human rights activist says Miklós Haraszti hopes to meet with representatives of official Minsk:

”We hope to continue our cooperation. Meetings with representatives of Belarusian human rights groups fall within the mandate of the special rapporteur. His duties also include negotiations with the Belarusian authorities. It’s hard to say whether it will be successful. The Belarusian authorities didn’t recognize the previous rapporteur and barred him from entering Belarus. Miklós Haraszti however hopes he will manage to talk to the authorities.”

Miklós Haraszti was appointed Special Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus at the 21st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on September 27. Russia and Cuba voted against his appointment.

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