24 July 2017, Monday, 19:52

The UN Special Rapporteur: The Belarusian Authorities Must Immediately Release All Detainees

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Miklós Haraszti

Miklós Haraszti called for respect for human rights and freedoms in Belarus.

The UN Human Rights Council discussed the issue of detention of participants on the "March of Non-Spongers".

The issue of brutal detentions and reprisals against demonstrators was discussed on March 15 at the UN Human Rights Council meeting, tut.by writes. A Special Rapporteur on Belarus Miklós Haraszti also expressed a tough attitude.

The meeting voiced the number of detainees at the "March of Non-Spongers" - more than 100 persons (excluding those who were detained after March 15.).

When raising this issue in the UN Human Rights Council, Human Rights House Foundation organization representing Belarusian civil rights activists stated that every person had the right to freely exercise his right to a peaceful protest not dependent on the good will of the authorities or its absence.

"The Belarusian authorities must immediately and without any conditions release all those arrested for participation in protests", Rapporteurs noted.

Human Rights House Foundation also requires Belarus to bring its legislation into line with its international obligations to ensure the right to a peaceful protest, to stop using presidential decrees as the way of control and to abolish the tax on spongers which he says "violates human dignity".

The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Right in Belarus Miklós Haraszti stated that he carefully followed the situation knowing overreaction of the authorities to any display of civil disobedience.

"The behavioral template towards demonstrations makes the situation deterioration possible. The escalation is real now," Special Rapporteur says.

Miklós Haraszti describes the decree as "brutal lawlessness" which affects more than 470 000 Belarusians: "These people are not simply named "parasites of society" but also required a fine of $250 equal to an average salary in the country."

He also says he will report on Decree No. 3 on the UN Human Rights Council in June 2017.