Interactive Dialogue with OHCHR on Belarus
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 52nd Session
Thank you, Mr. President and Ms. Deputy High Commissioner. We welcome the Special Examination’s report.
The United States strongly condemns two-and-a-half-years of systematic repression of Belarus’s pro-democracy movement and Belarusian society.
We are outraged by the ongoing harassment and intimidation of thousands of Belarusians forced into exile, including the use of politically motivated trials in absentia.
We denounce recently enacted legislation stripping the citizenship of exiles charged with “extremism” and condemn the confiscation of property from those alleged to have taken “unfriendly actions towards Belarus.”
We also condemn the expansion of the use of the death penalty for persons convicted of “attempted acts of terrorism,” a charge, which like “extremism” and “unfriendly actions towards Belarus” charges, is often used by Belarus as a method of politically motivated repression.
The United States will continue to press for the release of the over 1,400 political prisoners and thousands of others unjustly detained in Belarus.
We are committed to promoting accountability for human rights violations and abuses perpetrated by the Belarusian authorities, including reports of torture.
Ms. Deputy High Commissioner, how can the international community create stronger mechanisms to hold Belarusian officials to account?
I thank you.