20 January 2018, Saturday, 7:58



Official Minsk finds “unbalanced” the position of Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, on his assessment of the freedom of speech situation.

The Belarusian MFA says the Belarusian delegation led by Yauheny Lazarau,the Head of the Global Policy and Humanitarian Cooperation Office of the Belarusian MFA, took part in an  interactive dialogue with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Frank La Rua during the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.

“In his speech, Lazarau expressed his concern about the unbalanced approach to the situation of the freedom of speech in different countries demonstrated by the special rapporteur and stressed one should not focus on the situation in developing countries and ignore flagrant human rights violations in Western countries,” Interfax-West news agency has learnt from the MFA press service.

The MFA says the Belarusian diplomat turned attention of the special rapporteur to the situation of Julian Assange, who can face death penalty in the US for exercising his right to freedom of speech.

The Belarusian delegation also expressed its surprise at the fact that Frank La Rue didn't react to the inappropriate use of force by police against participants of large peaceful rallies in Poland, Germany, the UK, Belgium, Spain, Slovakia, the US and Canada.

Besides, the Belarusian representative expressed his concern about the silence of the special rapporteur regarding spreading of Innocence of Muslims film on the Internet, “which was used as a tool to deliberately create tension worldwide on the pretext of freedom of speech”.

“At the end of his speech the Belarusian representative asked when the special rapporteur would react to the visa restrictions imposed by the European Union on a number of Belarusian journalists,” the press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs added.

The representative of official Minsk preferred to not to speak about the situation of those Belarusian journalists, who faced criminal prosecution or had to flee the country.