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United Nations

National statement on the Human Rights Situation in Belarus during the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, 5 July 2021

Human Rights Council – 47th session

Interactive Dialogue on the human rights situation in Belarus

5 July 2021

Australian Statement

Australia thanks the Special Rapporteur for her report on the human rights situation in Belarus.

We strongly condemn the Belarusian Government’s forced military interception of Ryanair Flight FR4978, and subsequent arrest of Belarusian opposition blogger, Roman Protasevich, and his partner. Australia calls for their immediate release, along with all others arbitrarily detained for exercising their legitimate rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association.  We look forward to the outcomes of the independent ICAO investigation into events surrounding this incident.

Australia is concerned by the Belarusian Government’s broader campaign to erode independent and free media in Belarus, which has only worsened since its opaque presidential election last August. This was exemplified by the heavy-handed crackdown on media outlet

We note with concern the report’s finding that authorities continue to target all segments of civil society with repressive force, including human rights defenders, opposition leaders, and socially and politically active people.

We reiterate our longstanding call for the Belarusian Government to abolish the death penalty and thank the Special Rapporteur for continuing to draw attention to this issue.

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