At the UN Human Rights Council, Lithuania supports the mandate of UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus
On 5 July, at the 47th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) Interactive Dialogue took place with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin, who presented report on significant deterioration of human rights situation in the country and made some recommendations.
Speaking on behalf of the Nordic and Baltic countries, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania, Mantas Adomėnas, expressed gratitude for the Special Rapporteur’s work and report, which outlined the extent of long-standing, systemic serious human rights violations committed by Belarusian authorities in the context of the fraudulent elections of August 2020. Having in mind human rights defenders and especially journalists, Nordic and Baltic countries urge Belarus to release immediately, unconditionally and rehabilitate all those arbitrarily detained for exercising their human rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion and of association. Deputy Minister Mantas Adomėnas underlined: “International community sends a clear message to Belarusian authorities that all perpetrators of serious human rights violations, including torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, and enforced disappearances must be brought to justice”. He also mentioned that continued international scrutiny of the worsening human rights situation in Belarus should be maintained and the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation in Belarus should be extended.
Speaking on behalf of Lithuania, the Permanent Representative of Lithuania Ambassador Andrius Krivas noted, that Belarus has intensified repressions against all segments of civil society, including harassment, intimidations, prosecution and arbitrary detentions. “Diverting to Minsk an intra-EU civilian flight, thus gravely endangering civil aviation, Belarus arrested independent blogger Raman Pratasevich and his partner. This shocking act is another example of Belarusian authorities silencing independent media voices by any means”, said the Ambassador.
During the Interactive Dialogue, on the initiative of Lithuania, Ireland, Greece, Poland and United Kingdom, and with co-sponsorship of all EU Member States and 18 countries from other regional groups, a Joint Statement was presented on arrest of blogger Raman Pratasevich and his partner and call was made on Belarus to release them as well as those arbitrarily detained, including political prisoners.
In the current session of the Human Rights Council the European Union is tabling a resolution to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for another year, and calls on the Belarus authorities to cooperate with this mandate and grant it full access throughout the country.
The 47th Session of the Human Rights Council is taking place from 21 June to 13 July, 2021. The goal of the Geneva-based Council is to promote universal respect for human rights and freedoms, react to the most urgent human rights violations and provide recommendations. Lithuania has presented its candidacy to the Human Rights Council for the term 2022-2024 and currently takes part in the work of the HRC as an observer.