Ræða Íslands á 32. reglubundnum fundi Mannréttaráðs Sameinuðu þjóðanna

Statement by Mr. Thordur Sigtryggsson


32nd session of the Human Rights Council

Item 4: Belarus

Geneva, 21 June 2016


Mr. President,

Iceland thanks the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus for his report.

We are deeply concerned by the lack of cooperation with the Special Rapporteur and other special mechanisms requested by this Council. We are further alarmed at the lack of progress and action to address the systematic denial of basic human rights since the last report.

Iceland strongly urges the Government of Belarus to reconsider its refusal to engage with the HRC special mechanisms and to engage with the Special Rapporteur in a spirit of cooperation – including by giving the mechanism access to the country. This would facilitate independent verification of the human rights situation in Belarus and provide a strong signal that the Government is serious about fulfilling its international human rights obligations.

Mr. President

Iceland calls on Belarus to address all of the concerns raised in the report and to use the recommendations contained therein as a basis for action. This includes reforms to facilitate civil society space, to foster credible political opposition and to ensure the civil and political rights of former political prisoners and human rights defenders. We further urge Belarus to scrap the use of capital punishment and end its status as the only State in Europe to enforce the death penalty.

Question: What are the potential implications of the Parliamentary elections in September 2016 for the human rights situation in Belarus?

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