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Urgent Debate on the situation of human rights in Belarus

STATEMENT

Human Rights Council 45th SessionUrgent Debate on the situation of human rights in Belarus

Statement delivered by Ambassador Tine Mørch Smith, Permanent Representative of Norway

 

18 September 2020

                                                                                       Check against delivery

Thank you Ms. President,

Madame High Commissioner,

The human rights situation in Belarus is troubling and needs our urgent attention. We are observing ongoing violence by the security forces against unarmed, peaceful protesters and mass arrests of media workers and protesters.

Brave women play an important part in the peaceful response to the security forces' brutal and indiscriminate behaviour. They aremet with violence and detentions, but their voices will not be silenced. They are courageous and determined.

We call on the Belarusian authorities to stop the harassment of striking workers and independent trade unions.

We call for a thorough, independent and transparent investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of people in detention. All perpetrators of human rights violations must be held accountable.

The authorities' campaign to silence the Coordination Council and its members is unacceptable. The Belarusian government must pursue dialogue, not repression. We urge the Belarusian authorities to engage with the current and incoming OSCE chairpersonship in facilitating an inclusive and national dialogue in the country.

We support all efforts to peacefully end the crisis, and we will continue to support a democratic, independent, sovereign, prosperous and stable Belarus.

Thank you.