The United Nations Human Rights Council took a decision today (5 July) to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Belarus.
Minister of State Cornelia Pieper issued the following statement today:
“It is high time for an improvement in the situation regarding human rights and basic freedoms in Belarus. Political prisoners are still being detained, the opposition and critical media are still being harassed and oppressed.
I welcome the fact that a Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council will in future carefully monitor developments in Belarus as they unfold.
The appointment of the Special Rapporteur also makes plain that we are not waning in our efforts to promote democracy and human rights all across Europe – also in Belarus.
I call upon the Belarusian Government to cooperate with the Special Rapporteur and, also in its own interests, to take the opportunity to finally improve the human rights situation.”
At the initiative of the European Union, the United Nations Human Rights Council today decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on Belarus. 22 of the 47 members voted in favour, five against.
Since 2010 the European Union has focussed particular attention on Belarus in the Human Rights Council and, for example, called for the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report on the situation in the country.
With a simple majority of its members, the Human Rights Council can take a decision to appoint a Special Rapporteur on a particular country. The reporting period is one year. The Special Rapporteur presents an annual report issuing recommendations to the respective country but also to the international community.