UN Human Rights Council renews mandate of Special Rapporteur on Belarus

Source: Viasna Belarus Human Rights Center in English

The United Nations Human Rights Council has voted in favor of a resolution to extend for a period of one year the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.
The resolution has been supported by 20 members of the Council, with 6 votes against and 21 abstentions.
The draft was submitted by the EU delegation to stress “continued lack of cooperation by the Government of Belarus with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, who provides an important source of information and independent expertise on the human rights situation in Belarus.”
The document expresses “continued concern at the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Belarus, especially the undue restrictions and prohibitively burdensome processes relating to the exercise of freedoms of peaceful assembly, association and expression.”
It also deplores allegations of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment by law enforcement and prison officers, which are not properly investigated by the authorities; lack of response by the Government of Belarus to cases of arbitrary arrest and detention of political and social activists; and absence of full independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
The Human Rights Council urges Belarus to implement without delay the comprehensive reform of the electoral legal framework; to establish a national human rights institution; and to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur, including by allowing her access to visit the country.
The resolution separately notes the “continued attention paid by the Special Rapporteur to the issue of the death penalty in Belarus, and in particular expresses deep concern at its use without guarantee of due process and at the limited amount of relevant information with regard to its use.”
The resolution is based on a report prepared by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus. The mandate is currently held by Ms. Anaïs Marin.
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus was established by the Human Rights Council following a wave of mass arrests and repression by law enforcement agencies in response to the events that occurred after the December 2010 presidential election.
The official Minsk does not recognize the mandate and encourages the UN Human Rights Council to abolish it, pointing to his “unfair and politicized nature.”