Thank you, Mr President.
Thank you madam acting High Commissioner for your update on the human rights situation in Belarus. Over two years have passed since the fraudulent Presidential election and yet Lukashenko’s campaign of repression continues unabated.
The number of political prisoners in Belarus has now surpassed 1300, trials are taking place in absentia, Belarusians are being prevented from leaving the country, and the use of the death penalty has been expanded to include ‘attempted’ acts of terrorism. Civil society and independent media continue to be particularly targeted, with lengthy politically motivated sentences delivered after closed trials.
The Belarusian authorities have helped to undermine international law through their support of Putin’s illegal aggression against Ukraine. They continue to allow Belarus to be used as a launch-point for Russian troops and equipment, all the while harshly punishing those brave Belarusians that dare voice opposition to the illegal war.
Let me once again urge the Belarusian authorities to act upon the recommendations set out by the Special Rapporteur, and to cease their support for Putin’s aggression.
Madam acting High Commissioner,
How can the international community best show its support to the brave people of Belarus in the midst of such continued, severe repression?