49th General Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Interactive Dialogue on the OHCHR Report on the Human Rights Situation in Belarus
As Delivered by Ambassador Michèle Taylor
March 17, 2022
Thank you, Mr. President. The United States thanks you, Madam High Commissioner, and your office for your work on this report.
The United States condemns the Lukashenka regime’s enabling of Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine, and its detention of more than 800 Belarusians peacefully expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine.
The Belarus authorities’ facilitation of Russian aggression has contributed to an unconscionable humanitarian toll on the people of Ukraine, who are valiantly defending their democracy and independence, and to a dangerous crisis which could irrevocably harm global security and that of every sovereign state.
Belarus’s actions supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine mirror its brutal repression at home. We deplore the holding of more than 1,000 political prisoners, which places Belarus among the world’s worst human rights abusers in this regard.
We condemn the Belarus authorities’ acts of transnational repression against Belarusian exiles, its forced closures of hundreds of NGOs and independent media outlets, its fabricated migration crisis targeting countries providing safe harbor to peaceful Belarusian dissidents, and the sham constitutional referendum designed to strengthen Lukashenka’s grip on power.
Madam High Commissioner, how can and should the international community hold Belarusian authorities to account for their continued human rights abuses? I thank you.