United Nations Human Rights Council 46th session
Item 2: Enhanced interactive dialogue with the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Belarus (res. 45/1)
25 February 2021
Joint statement delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr. Jeppe KOFOD
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of 42 states.
We reaffirm our strong condemnation of the systematic and massive human rights violations and abuses reported in Belarus. Particularly, we are deeply concerned about the reported use by the Belarusian authorities of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including sexual and gender based violence, against peaceful protesters and political opponents.
As reported by the High Commissioner, detainees have been subjected to sexual violence, denied food, water and medical treatment, and have been systematically and brutally beaten and humiliated. This strengthens the testimonies documented by OSCE Moscow Mechanism Rapporteur Professor Benedek, civil society, and the media. Belarusian authorities punish and silence peaceful demonstrators, deny their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and suppress their legitimate demand for free and fair elections.
The Belarusian authorities must stop the systematic oppression and the persecution of peaceful and democratic movements and cease all violence, including the use of torture. We call on the authorities to release all political prisoners and those arbitrarily detained; immediately and unconditionally. The reported cases of torture must be investigated and perpetrators must be brought to account.
List of co-sponsors:
10. Czech Republic
29. New Zealand
30. North Macedonia