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13.06.2007

Human rights situation deteriorating in Belarus

   

Adrian Severin, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that there had been no "real change in the trend in the country."

He said that during 2006 the situation of human rights in Belarus had constantly deteriorated and criticized excessive use of force by the police, torture, the lack of independence of the judiciary with totally disproportionate sentences passed, as well as restrictions on the press.

Typically, the former Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs’ report was dismissed by Belarusian and Russian representatives as politically biased  The Belarusian Ambassador claimed that it contained false allegations and "absurd conclusions," and that "The special rapporteur is misusing the human rights mandate...to put forward a political model for interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state,".

Mr Severin in turn said that Minsk had ignored all recommendations he had put forward for stopping the human rights abuses. He mentioned that he had been refused permission to visit the country for the third year running in 2006 and that this year’s application had still had no response.

Mr Severyn believes that Russia and other neighbouring states should join the economic sanctions imposed against Minsk by the European Union and the USA.

Although Mr Severyn was imposed UN special rapporteur in 2004, he had still not been allowed to visit the country since the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially refused to cooperate with him.

Based on information from Liga News and other sources

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