The European Union welcomes the resolution adopted today by the Human Rights Council in Geneva on the human rights situation in Belarus. The resolution was put forward by the European Union.
The human rights violations in Belarus are of a systemic and systematic nature. They include limitations on the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, peaceful assembly and association, as well as continuing harassment, intimidation and imprisonment of political opponents, human rights defenders, journalists and activists, as well as allegations of torture and ill treatment while in custody.
Belarus is also the only European country still applying the death penalty. The EU welcomes therefore that the resolution adopted today raises this matter specifically. The EU is opposed to the use of the death penalty in all cases, and remains particularly concerned about the application of death sentences in Belarus, such as the one recently handed down by the Mahilyow Regional Court.
In the light of the deplorable human rights situation in Belarus it was of paramount importance that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, created last year at the initiative of the European Union, be extended for a further year. In spite of the lack of cooperation by the Government of Belarus, which the EU regrets and asks to be reversed, the work of the Special Rapporteur provides an important source of information and independent expertise on the human rights situation in Belarus.