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22 March 2023, 18:20

Belarus slams report on human rights violations as ‘true hypocrisy'

MINSK, 22 March (BelTA) - The West continues to cynically support those who oppose the Belarusian state, Permanent Representative of Belarus to the UN Office and other international organizations in Geneva Larisa Belskaya said as she commented on the report on "human rights violations" in Belarus in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election and in its aftermath presented at the 52nd session of the Human Rights Council, on BelTA has learned.

“Belarus, like most developing countries in this room, believes that the OHCHR and the entire UN should work to preserve the peaceful coexistence of nations, rather than encourage disinformation, confrontation and pressure on sovereign states. Once again I want to thank those of you who supported Belarus and opposed the pressure on my country in the Council,” Larisa Belskaya said.

In her words, the report on human rights violations in Belarus is biased and unfounded, it does not contribute to constructive cooperation and undermines the possibility of dialogue between OHCHR and Belarus. “You stubbornly refuse to listen to the arguments of the government and continue to cynically support those who oppose the Belarusian state. You and the Western countries have talked a lot about ‘political prisoners' and ‘victims of violence' in Belarus. I repeat, there are no political prisoners in Belarus, there are people who have violated the law and received a fair punishment,” the diplomat said.

“Some of those who are tried to be presented as ‘victims of arbitrariness and violence' are in fact victims of manipulations of those whom Western countries pathosously call ‘champions of human rights', those who in August 2020 involved them in illegal anti-government protests and provoked them into clashes with representatives of law enforcement agencies. A number of Western countries, such as the United States, Germany, France and many others, claiming excessive violence in dispersing anti-government demonstrations in Minsk, regularly use, in contrast to Belarus, water cannons, batons and rubber bullets to deal with the protests. We are talking about thousands of demonstrators, demanding their economic and social rights, or respect for their political choice,” Larisa Belskaya said.

She recalled that police officers in the United States killed more than 1,000 people on the streets in 2021. “Over the past year alone, the racist actions of Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian authorities in pushing asylum seekers from Asia and Africa into Belarus have resulted in dozens of injuries and deaths of innocent people. A number of EU countries pompously proclaim their fight against discrimination and intolerance, but in reality they indulge in insulting religious and ethnic traditions,” the permanent representative of Belarus emphasized. “We see how freedom of speech is trampled only because journalists or community activists present an alternative point of view or speak Russian.”

The diplomat said that many Western governments are far from exemplary when it comes to human rights. “Only no one investigates their violations or writes reports for the UN Human Rights Council, because OHCHR does not have the means or the courage to do so. Only a few international NGOs make timid attempts to talk about it. You know how it ends,” she added. “Only an objective UN Human Rights Council can be an important element of a fair multilateral system. Today in the Human Rights Council we see the imposition of double standards and politicized approaches imposed by Western countries. I urge you to keep this in mind when studying and evaluating such biased reports, when making decisions following Western initiatives against Belarus and many other sovereign states.

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