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BY 2019.06.05 BELARUS UN Special Rapporteur Disappointed with Human Rights situation in Belarus

Over the past year, Belarus has not significantly improved the human rights situation, but there have been some positive changes.

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This is stated in the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anais Marin, who she will present at the summer session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva.

The report, published on the HRC website, covers the period from May 1, 2018, to March 31, 2019.

Marine emphasizes: the Belarusian government still does not recognize the mandate of the UN special rapporteur, which has limited its possibilities for constructive interaction with the authorities. She calls on Minsk to reconsider the position regarding the special rapporteur’s mandate.

“Based on the information gathered, the special rapporteur cannot witness important improvements in the observance of human rights in Belarus,” the report says. “For example, the use of the death penalty continues, there is no progress in the prevention of torture and ill-treatment, although, in the previous year, many recommendations have been made (to improve the situation on these issues. – BelaPAN .”).

As positive changes, Marin notes the decriminalization of article 193.1 of the Criminal Code (activities of unregistered organizations) and amendments to the law on mass events that introduced the notification (along with the declarative) principle of mass events.

At the same time, the special rapporteur emphasizes that these changes only partially take into account the recommendations of human rights defenders.

So, the report says, responsibility for the activities of an unregistered organization is transferred from a criminal to an administrative plane, and the notification procedure is possible only for events held in specially designated places.