Tsikhanouskaya speaks in UN via videolink amid protests of some countries

Yury Ambrazevich, Head of Belarus’ delegation and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office, listens to speeches during the opening of 45th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European U.N. headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland September 14, 2020,Image: 557885405, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: POOL / Reuters / Forum

In Geneva, the leader of the Belarusian opposition Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya addressed the UN Human Rights Council. During the video address, she urged to promptly send a monitoring mission to the country to record the facts of human rights violations. Belarus, Russia, China and Venezuela asked to interrupt the broadcast of Tsikhanouskaya’s speech.

In response to Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s request for immediate international intervention in the situation in Belarus, Minsk’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Yury Ambrazevich said that this speech had nothing to do with the essence of the matter and was a violation of procedure.

“The address of individual citizens of the Republic of Belarus cannot be considered acceptable. I request to stop broadcasting the video of Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya,” RBC quotes Ambrazevich.

The Permanent Representative of Belarus also denied the facts of sexual violence by the security forces against the detained protesters and argued that there were no political prisoners in the country.

In Belarus, protesters have repeatedly stated that the security forces used sexual violence against them as torture. On September 14, a report by the international human rights organization Human Rights Watch said that a Belarusian programmer named Ales was raped with a baton in a police car.

“[Riot police] demanded that I unlock the phone. I refused. The man in charge was called. He began to threaten me to ‘stick a baton in the ass’. Then he cut my shorts and underpants in the back, criss-cross, shouted to his friends if anyone had a condom … I was lying face down on the floor, but I saw him pulling the condom over the baton … And he thrust the baton into my anus … He pulled it out again demanded a password. He hit me with his fists and kicked me: in the ribs, in the face, in the teeth — two of my front teeth crumbled,” said the 30-year-old victim.

In Belarus, security officials also beat detained protesters who ended up in a pre-trial detention center. Opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya is preparing a list of officials and employees of the power structures of Belarus who are involved in illegal detentions, violent dispersal of protests and torture of detainees.