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Human Rights Council – Universal Periodic Review

For use of information media; not an official record

Date: Wednesday 12 May (afternoon)

Country under review: BELARUS

  1. Documents: national report (A/HRC/WG.6/8/BLR/1), compilation of UN information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/BLR/2), summary of stakeholders’ information (A/HRC/WG.6/8/BLR/3)
  2. Troika: Senegal, Philippines, Norway

Interactive discussion

Number of States taking part in the discussion

  1. Member States: 19
  2. Observer States: 34

Positive achievements

  1. Efforts to combat trafficking and provide compensation to victims.
  2. Measures to protect children in conflict with the law.
  3. Plan for gender equality and National Council on gender policy.
  4. Consistent efforts to eradicate poverty.
  5. Improved prisons’ overcrowding and access to healthcare for detainees.
  6. Progress in promoting the right to health.
  7. Invitation to 8 UN Special Procedures mandate holders.

Issues and questions raised

  1. Death penalty (only country in Europe) and executions (latest in March 2010).
  2. Torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances.
  3. Trafficking in persons.
  4. Political prisoners.
  5. Right to fair trial and independence of the judiciary.
  6. Elections practices and procedures.
  7. Criminalization of unregistered organizations.
  8. Harassment, intimidation and arrests of journalists and human rights defenders.
  9. No gender equality provision in national legislation.
  10. Freedom of expression, of assembly and of religion.
  11. Discrimination and violence against Roma people.

Recommendations

  1. Adopt immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolish death penalty.
  2. Investigate and prosecute torture, arbitrary detentions and forced disappearances.
  3. Take further steps to ensure independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
  4. Release political prisoners and prohibit prosecution on political opinions.
  5. Take further measures to combat domestic violence.
  6. Intensify efforts to combat trafficking.
  7. Pursue efforts to prevent discrimination of ethnic minorities.
  8. Take further steps to guarantee free and fair democratic elections.
  9. Ensure human rights of political activists, human rights defenders and journalists and prosecute all cases of violations.
  10. Lift obstacles to the registration and functioning of independent media.
  11. Lift restrictions to the registration and functioning of NGOs and political parties.
  12. Ensure freedom of religion and continue to promoter inter-religious dialogue.
  13. Adopt specific legislation to promote gender equality.
  14. Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance andthe Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Response of the concerned country

  1. Abolition of death penalty – Affects security interest. Population in favour. Will consider abolition, though parliamentary working group and awareness campaign.
  2. Freedom of expression– Registration of the media not regulated. Provides financial support to some media for social and educational purposes only. Among leaders in freedom on internet. Law on media to simplify procedures.
  3. Freedom of assembly and association – Guaranteed by Constitution, as long as public security and order are ensured. Restrictions on NGOs justified by necessity of combating extremism, racial and religious hatred.
  4. Human Trafficking– Necessary measures taken, notably with help of Interpol. Rehabilitation programmes for victims (legal and medical assistance, etc.).
  5. Elections - Call for internationally recognized standards and comparative analysis of existing systems. Aware that changes need to be made.

Adoption of the report by the UPR working group scheduled on
Friday 14 May, as from 15:00

More information

  1. UPR: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/UPRmain.aspx
  2. Country under review (documents submitted): http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/PAGES/BYSession8.aspx

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