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Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus
June 18, 2014

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by Lisa Brodey

UN Human Rights Council – 26th Session

June 18, 2014

Thank you, Mr. President.

The United States expresses its appreciation for the continued reporting of the special rapporteur and calls on members of this Council to support the renewal of his important mandate.

We remain gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Belarus, and call upon Belarus to grant access to the special rapporteur immediately and to engage with him on the range of human rights problems within the country.

The findings in the special rapporteur’s report reflect the “structural and endemic” character of human rights violations that occur in Belarus.

A democracy in name only, Belarus has a Parliament with no opposition members and a judiciary completely under the President’s control.

This structure has allowed the government to carry out violations including restrictions on the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, the denial of labor rights, and arrests and detentions of peaceful political opponents.

The NGO Freedom House ranks Belarus as the fifth most oppressive country in the world with regard to suppression of civil liberties and press freedoms.

Belarusian authorities routinely censor and harass the few remaining independent media sources.

Authorities harassed, arrested, and assaulted journalists, as well as revoked journalists’ licenses to practice.

The United States joins the Special Rapporteur in calling on the authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all those imprisoned for the exercise of their civil and political rights, and to ensure that their rights are fully respected going forward.

The United States welcomes the special rapporteur’s recommendations to adopt legislation on freedom of assembly and association, so that the Belarusian people can exercise their right to speak out and organize.

The United States believes that extending the special rapporteur’s mandate will enable the special rapporteur to continue his important work, particularly his support for civil society.


What has the special rapporteur observed regarding labor rights restrictions in Belarus and how can the regime improve labor rights, including collective bargaining and the freedom to change occupations?

Thank you, Mr. President.