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Statement by Estonia at the UN Human Rights Council 35th Session at the Special Rapporteur's report on the situation of human rights in Belarus


UN Human Rights Council, 35th Session


Statement by Estonia


Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus


Geneva, 14 June 2017


Mr President,


Estonia fully aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.


Estonia would like to express its appreciation for the work done by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Mr. Miklós Haraszti. The continued lack of cooperation by the authorities of Belarus with the Special Rapporteur is most regrettable, as is the general assessment of the report that the human rights situation in Belarus has seen a dramatic deterioration during the last year. Under these circumstances, Estonia supports the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.


We share the view of the Special Rapporteur that the way how peaceful demonstrators were met by the authorities of Belarus in spring this year, has to be condemned. We call on the Government of Belarus to end the policy of mass arrests and arbitrary detention as a response to peaceful assemblies, or arresting political opponents on trumped-up criminal charges and on a “preventive” basis. We urge Belarus to release all prisoners who were detained under these charges. We also call on Belarus to change its Criminal Code to avoid curtailing the freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association in the future.


We took note of the first registration of an organization in Belarus during several years, as the movement “Tell the Truth” was registered in May. We hope that this does not remain a single case and the authorities continue registering civil society organizations and political parties that have been denied official recognition so far.


Finally, we call on the authorities of Belarus to fulfil their international obligations and cooperate fully with all UN human rights mechanisms and special procedures. We urge the Government of Belarus to fully implement all the recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur in his report. We would particularly like to emphasise the importance of introducing, as a first step, a moratorium on executions, leading to the total abolition of the death penalty.

Thank you!


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