Item 4 - Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus NB8 Finland (29.06.22)

50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council

ITEM 4 - Interactiv Dialogue with SR on the situation of human rights in Belarus

Nordic – Baltic Statement, delivered by Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto

29 June 2022

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries.

We thank the Special Rapporteur for the report. We strongly support the mandate.

We are alarmed that that the human rights situation has continued to worsen in Belarus. The recent constitutional and other legislative changes cause concern, including the potentially expanded use of the death penalty. Political opponents, civil society organizations, human rights defenders and independent media face systematic repression.  

We demand the Belarusian government and authorities to release immediately and unconditionally all political prisoners, including those who are minors. Rights to freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association must be respected.

The government and authorities have to engage in a credible and inclusive political process resulting in free and fair elections.

We strongly condemn the human rights violations, including unnecessary and disproportionate use of force, arbitrary detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Impunity must end.

We strongly condemn Belarus’ involvement in Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine.

Thank you.