HRC 46th Session - On behalf of 42 states, the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs strongly condemns the human rights violations and abuses reported in Belarus, particularly the use of torture

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

Madame President, 

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.

Madame President,

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.

Thank you.

List of co-sponsors: 
1. Denmark 
2. Albania
3. Australia
4. Austria
5. Belgium
6. Bulgaria 
7. Canada
8. Croatia
9. Cyprus
10. Czech Republic
11. Estonia
12. Finland
13. France
14. Germany
15. Greece
16. Hungary
17. Iceland
18. Ireland
19. Italy
20. Japan
21. Latvia
22. Liechtenstein
23. Lithuania
24. Luxembourg
25. Malta
26. Monaco
27. Montenegro
28. Netherlands
29. New Zealand
30. North Macedonia
31. Norway
32. Poland
33. Portugal
34. Romania
35. Slovakia
36. Slovenia
37. Spain
38. Sweden
39. Switzerland
40. UK
41. Ukraine
42. USA