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Resolution of Human Rights Council on Situation of human rights in Belarus

The Human Rights Council adopted, at its 46th session, a resolution (draft version available) on the Situation of human rights in Belarus.

The Council expressed concern at the continuing human rights violations in the country since 2020. It implied the seriousness of the situation by recalling a series of reports, resolutions, and recommendations, including the Council resolution 45/1 of 18 September 2020 (Situation of human rights in Belarus in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and in its aftermath), the 12 August 2020 and 25 February 2021, the joint statements made by the special procedure mandate holders since the presidential election held in Belarus on 9 August 2020, the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Situation of human rights in Belarus in the context of the 2020 presidential election (A/HRC/46/4), and the report of the rapporteur of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Human Rights Council calls upon the Belarusian authorities to cease human rights violations including excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, enforced disappearance, arbitrary arrests, and detentions, and imprisonment of persons for exercising their human rights.

It urged the Belarusian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners, journalists and other media workers, human rights defenders, members of strike committees, students, and those arbitrarily detained in the lead-up to, during, and after the presidential election.

The Council stressed the need for accountability for human rights violations and urged Belarus to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

The Council also required the High Commissioner, with assistance from relevant experts and special rapporteurs, to carry out a comprehensive examination of all alleged human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020. The OHCHR will present an interim oral update to the Human Rights Council at its 48th session and a comprehensive written report at its 49th session.

For the civil society and victims of human rights violations in Belarus, the latest occasion of having their voice heard at the UN level could be 14 April 2020, which is the deadline for the Call for inputs on intimidation and reprisals for the annual report of the Secretary-General.