An ‘authoritarian club’ led by Russia and several other ‘like-minded countries’ is trying to stifle criticism of Belarus at the UN Human Rights Council, says Yuriy Dzhibladze (right), a representative of the International Control Committee for Human Rights in Belarus and president of Russian Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights.
On 12-13 June the UN Human Rights Council will consider a resolution on Belarus, based on a report from Miklós Haraszti, the special rapporteur on human rights in Belarus, which severely criticized the regime’s policy and practices.
On the day of its publication, Russia led the backlash against the report, Dzhibladze tells Charter97, as a representative of the Russian Federation proudly read the list of like-minded states, including Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, China, Laos, and Zimbabwe, which categorically opposed the creation of special rapporteur mandates on human rights.
The Haraszti report clearly documents the continuing deterioration of human rights in Belarus, he says: keeping political prisoners in custody, constantly increasing pressure on them with the aim to force pleas for pardon and acknowledgements of guilt out of them, continuing persecution of civil society and the opposition, impendent journalists, lawyers, virtually absent freedom of association, assembly, expression, tortures in the penitentiary system, the impunity of human rights violators, the absence of independent judiciary and the atmosphere of fear in the country.
The voices of advocates for the resumption of a dialogue with the Lukashenka regime without preconditions are growing stronger, he fears
The dispute over the Belarus resolution is the latest confrontation between the civilized world and the “dictators club,” between those countries which adhere to the principles and values of the UN Statute and Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and those authoritarian states which “have long drifted away from these principles or never followed them,” he argues.
Yuriy Dzhibladze is active within the World Movement for Democracy’s Central and Eastern Europe and Eurasia Network.