The Un High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Mandate in Belarus Is Extended for Another Year

At its 52nd session, the UN Human Rights Council has adopted the resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and in its aftermath. It implies that the mandate of the OHCHR monitoring mission that examines the human rights situation in Belarus was extended for another year.

Forty-seven countries took part in the voting on the resolution. Five countries (Bolivia, China, Cuba, Eritrea, Vietnam) opposed the extension of the mandate for Belarus. Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan abstained.

The Human Rights Council has:

  • expressed deep concern at the further deterioration of the situation of human rights in Belarus in the aftermath of the presidential election held on 9 August 2020 and the continued impunity and lack of accountability for human rights violations committed in Belarus since 1 May 2020;
  • condemned in this respect the continuing systematic denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including with regard to the holding of more than 1,462 political prisoners and the arbitrary detention and arrest of opposition members, journalists and other media workers, environmental and human rights defenders, including women human rights defenders, lawyers, medical workers, cultural workers, teachers, students, children, persons belonging to national minorities, members of trade unions and strike committees, and other members of civil society and individuals for expressing dissenting opinions and exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • condemned the actions of Belarusian authorities in committing an act of unlawful interference that deliberately endangered the safety and security of a civilian flight in Belarusian airspace in May 2021 and the lives of all those on board;
  • expressed once again its regret that the Belarusian authorities have not fulfilled their obligations with regard to the right of every citizen to vote and to be elected at free, fair and inclusive periodic elections.

At the same session, the mandate of Mary Lawlor, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, was extended for three years without voting.

The mandate of Alice Edwards (Special Rapporteur on Torture) was also extended for three years without voting.
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