UN Rapporteur Says Human Rights Worsened in Belarus in 2006
Thursday, June 14, 2007 4:17 PM

Adrian Severin, the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on Belarus, on June 12 noted a steady deterioration in the human rights situation in Belarus in 2006, Belapan reported. Presenting his report in Geneva, Severin stressed that all his recommendations have been ignored by the Belarusian government, which he said has flatly refused to cooperate with him for three consecutive years. "The present report demonstrates that Belarus does not respect its obligations under the international human rights instruments to which it has adhered," Severin said. Severin recommended that the UN Human Rights Council ask the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to immediately establish a group of legal experts "to investigate whether senior officials of the government of Belarus are responsible for the disappearances and murders of several politicians and journalists, and make concrete proposals for their prosecution, in order to bring to an end the impunity enjoyed by those involved in such crimes." Severin also recommended that the UN secretary-general launch an investigation into "the apparent involvement of senior [Belarusian] government officials in international organized crime and illegal arms sales." Syarhey Aleynik, Belarus's permanent representative to the United Nations and other international organizations based in Geneva, called on the UN Human Rights Council to abolish the mandate of the special rapporteur on Belarus. According to Aleynik, Severin's report is a "product of an incompetent and politically prejudiced expert who is directly interested in creating a negative image of our country."

Published in: "UN Rapporteur Says Human Rights Worsened in Belarus in 2006," JM, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Newsline, 13 June 2007.

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