Haraszti: “I would like to be impartial”

Miklos Haraszti, the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on Belarus, told Belarusian reporters in Kyiv on February 18 that he would like his report during the Council’s session in June to be an impartial description of the situation in Belarus. This applies to the government’s view of existing problems and ways of solving them, he said.

Mr. Haraszti complained that he had only been able to meet with representatives of Belarus’ civil society, as Minsk does not recognize the mandate of the special rapporteur on Belarus and denies him an entry visa. He has recently filed one more application for a Belarusian visa.

Mr. Haraszti stressed that he would like to cooperate with the Belarusian government as closely as with Belarusian civil society activists. The UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights are interested in such cooperation, he said, adding that both the Belarusian authorities and the Belarusian people would benefit from it.

According to Mr. Haraszti, his report would pay much attention to the situation of the political prisoners in Belarus, the conditions for prison inmates, and the country’s record on political and civil rights.

“My future report will be aimed at, among other things, helping Belarusian authorities implement the recommendations of the [UN] Human Rights Council and the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” Mr. Haraszti said. “In addition, an important part of my work is to devise my own recommendations to the government for improving the situation.”

The UN Human Rights Council restored the position of the Council’s rapporteur on Belarus in July 2012, much to the displeasure of the Belarusian government. Mr. Haraszti, a Hungarian politician, was appointed special rapporteur on Belarus on September 28, 2012.

Belsat, following BelaPAN


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