UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus tagged posts

UN Human Rights Council extends mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus

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On June 27, the delegates of the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Belarus, the UN News Centre said.

The Council decided “to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus for a period of one year” and requested the Special Rapporteur to “submit a report on the situation of human rights in Belarus to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-ninth session and to the General Assembly at its seventieth session”. A resolution entitled “Situation of human rights in Belarus” was supported by 24 delegations. Seven members of the Council were against and 16 abstained.

The resolution expressed deep concern at “continuing violations of human rights in Belarus”...

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Miklós Haraszti : halt further executions

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, has urged the Belarusian authorities to impose an immediate moratorium on death sentences and to refrain from carrying out further executions.

Mr. Haraszti’s appeal follows the reported execution of Pavel Sialiun and a Supreme Court ruling last week upholding the death sentence against Eduard Lykau, both convicted for murder. Belarus is the only European country that still retains the death penalty.

No reports of executions for a considerable time, despite the imposition of several new death sentences, had filled the international community with the hope that Belarus had started a practical moratorium, which would then lead to a legal moratorium, and finally to the abolition of capital...

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Film and debate on human rights in Belarus at Human Rights Film Festival in Geneva

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An international human rights film festival took place in Geneva on March 9, 2014. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) dedicated this festival to human rights defenders who symbolize the battle for human dignity and human rights throughout the world. For Belarus, this person is Ales Bialiatski, the imprisoned head of the Human Rights Center Viasna.

The documentary film Europe’s Last Dictator received a public showing as part of this festival. Before the film began, Mariangela Zappia, the EU ambassador to the UN in Geneva, and Sasha Koulaeva, head of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk at FIDH, addressed the audience.

After the film, a debate was moderated by the journalist André Loersch...

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Human rights situation in Belarus discussed at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

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The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) organized a number of meetings and events on the situation with human rights in Belarus as part of a session of the UN Human Rights Council that took place in Geneva on March 6 – 7, 2014.

Participants in the round table “Social and Economic Rights in Belarus are Violated as Systematically as Political and Civil Rights” concentrated on violations of freedom of association, freedom of assembly, and the election process, noting in particular the situation with political prisoners. They also presented a report by FIDH and the Human Rights Centre Viasna entitled “Forced Labor and the Pervasive Violations of Workers’ Rights in Belarus”...

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Belarus still has no intention to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights

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In the near future Belarus intends to confirm the invitation to visit the country for a number of special rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC). Of question here the special rapporteurs on freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of judges, on human trafficking and child pornography, on the rights of migrants and on violence against women. However, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklos Haraszti, is still not invited.

We do not believe that it can or able to lead a constructive dialogue with the Belarusian government because of the specific personal qualities and background of the problem, and also because this post was established without the consent of the Belarusian government“, commented the head of the main bureau of the m...

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Miklos Haraszti’s report on Belarus presented and discussed at the UN General Assembly in New York

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On October 28, the UN General Assembly in New York hosted a presentation and interactive dialogue of national delegations on the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklos Haraszti.

After the presentation of the report, representative of the official Belarusian delegation in his speech noted once again that Belarus did not recognize the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, and, accordingly, his report, and refused to cooperate with him. The representative of Belarus said his country viewed the establishment of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Belarus as an attempt by the EU to put pressure on the country, which is pursuing an independent policy...

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Death penalty in Belarus: UN expert calls to stop executions after recent court rulings

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GENEVA (9 October 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklos Haraszti, urged the Government of Belarus to start an immediate moratorium on executions before the relevant legislation and court system can be reformed and capital punishment can be removed from the country’s Criminal Code. Belarus is the only European country that still retains the death penalty for certain crimes during times of peace and war.

I am deeply disappointed by the rulings of Belarusian courts which continue to hand down death sentences to the country’s citizens,” Mr. Haraszti said, expressing his regret regarding the decision of the country’s Supreme Court, which on 18 September ruled to uphold the death sentence handed to Pavel Selyun. Mr...

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United Nations expert urges Belarusian Government to release Ales Bialiatski and stop persecution of rights defenders

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GENEVA (2 August 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Miklós Haraszti, has urged the Belarusian Government to “immediately and unconditionally” release and rehabilitate human rights defender Ales Bialiatski. “Mr Bialiatski’s detention is a symbol of the repression against human rights defenders,” he said.

Two years ago, on 4 August 2011, Mr Bialiatski, head of the Human Rights Center Viasna, was detained in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on charges of tax evasion. He was later sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment with the confiscation of all his property, including assets registered to other persons. This judgment was upheld on appeal in 2012.

“Mr...

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European Parliament holds hearings on the situation with Human rights in Belarus

Belarusian Human Rights Defenders at European Parlament hearings

As part of a meeting of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights, on June 19 the European Parliament in Brussels held a discussion about the situation of human rights in Belarus and its draft recommendation regarding EU policy toward Belarus, which was prepared by Justas Paleckis.

Speakers included Elena Tonkacheva, head of the Legal Transformation Center, and Vladimir Labkovich, board member at the Viasna Human Rights Center.

Vladimir Labkovich characterized the situation with human rights as deteriorating and said that Belarus is experiencing an endemic and systematic crisis in this area. In his speech, he made special note of the situations with political prisoners, the mass media, and the judicial system, the ability to exercise civil and political rights, and also the deat...

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UN rights experts deplores human rights violations in Belarus, urges co-operation

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GENEVA (14 June 2013) – Miklos Haraszti, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, has urged the Belarus government to engage with his mandate to improve the country’s human rights situation.

Human rights are systematically restricted in Belarus through different measures: decrees, policies and practice,” said Mr. Haraszti, speaking after his mandate was renewed by the Human Rights Council for another year. “The fulfilment of human rights remains purposefully blocked by a governance system that is devoid of any checks and balances.”

Mr. Haraszti recalled that during his first mandate he had not been able to visit Belarus and talk to officials, having received no response to his requests from the government...

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