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UN Human Rights Council 35th Session (6-23 June 2017)

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus

Statement by Ireland

14 June 2017

Ireland aligns with the Statement of the EU and adds the following:

Mr President

Ireland welcomes the Special Rapporteur and thanks him for his comprehensive report. Ireland deeply regrets that Belarus continues to deny the Special Rapporteur access to the country or cooperation with him on the mandate provided by this Council.

Ireland is very concerned at the serious deterioration in the human rights situation in Belarus which is detailed in the report and in particular, the arrests and arbitrary detention of peaceful protestors in March. The continuing application of the death penalty is also of grave concern and we support the Special Rapporteur’s call for a moratorium on the death penalty. Ireland notes the regressive steps taken by Belarus in relation to freedoms of assembly, association, opinion and expression, and of the media.

Given these concerns, we believe it is necessary for the Human Rights Council to maintain its scrutiny of the situation of human rights in Belarus and call on all states to support the extension of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur.

Special Rapporteur,

We would be interested in the elaboration of your views on the importance of retention of the mandate and your suggestions on how States can encourage cooperation by Belarus with the mandate.

Thank you.