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BY 2019.06.20 NGO’s Special Rapporteur to brief UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Belarus

The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold its forty-first regular session from 24 June to 12 July 2019 in Geneva, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said.

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Special Rapporteur Anaïs Marin to brief UN Human Rights Council on the situation in Belarus

Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, will open the session on Monday, 24 June, and will update the Council on the situation of human rights worldwide and on the activities of her Office.  During the three-week session, the Council will examine over 100 reports on a wide range of issues presented by 24 human rights experts, groups, and mechanisms.

Among these, the Council will be briefed by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin.

“Based on the information collected, the Special Rapporteur cannot attest to important improvements in terms of respect for human rights in Belarus,” said Ms. Marin in her first report, which was prepared for the Council’s summer session.

The Rapporteur describes the “systemic and systematic human rights violations present in law and in practice.” The findings of the Special Rapporteur indicate the absence of significant improvements and the necessity for the Government of Belarus to clearly demonstrate its commitment to addressing longstanding criticism by introducing concrete durable changes. Based on her conclusions, the Special Rapporteur addresses recommendations to the Government of Belarus and the international community.

Anaïs Marin succeeded Miklós Haraszti, who served as the UN Rapporteur on Belarus from 2012 to 2018.

As in previous years, the Government of Belarus has not recognized the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. Commenting on the latest resolution by the Council, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anatol Hlaz called it absurd.

“The resolution is absurd, both in its design and on the merits. We do not accept this document as it is politicized and distorting the real state of affairs in our country,” he said.