The situation in Belarus is a cause of grave concern to Norway, and the latest developments this spring with two executions after a court case which raised a number of questions underline the seriousness of the situation. The release of a few human rights activists, does not change the grim realities: a general deterioration of the human rights situation in Belarus. The High Commissioner’s report is a timely reminder of these realities.
The fact that Belarus fails to give access to OHCHR and the non-implementation of previous recommendations are unacceptable, and demonstrate the systemic nature of the human rights abuses that take place in Belarus. Belarus disregards its international obligations as well as Art. 8 of its own Constitution. The Belarusian government’s lack of co-operation with the High Commissioner’s Office and UN Human Rights experts is deplorable. We again urge the government of Belarus to address the concerns raised in the report and to implement all its recommendations.
Belarus is the only European country that continues to carry out death penalties. This practice does not bring Belarus closer to the European community of values. Norway urges the Belarusian authorities to immediately abandon this practice. Norway supports the establishment of a special rapporteur on Belarus, given the deterioration of the situation in the country and the lack of co-operation with the international community displayed by the authorities. The coming elections in Belarus will give the authorities an opportunity to renew its co-operation with international organizations and demonstrate respect for international law and obligations. We hope the authorities will end its self-imposed policy of isolation, harassment and imprisonment of its own citizens, and allow the Belarusian people to join the European family of democratic societies.
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