Human Rights Council - 51st session
Item 4: Interactive Dialogue on the interim oral update of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Belarus
Statement by Iceland
23 September 2022
We thank the acting High Commissioner for her oral update.
The Belarusian authorities continue to seriously infringe on the fundamental rights of their own people. The relentless attack on civil society and independent voices, and the widespread use of disinformation is appalling. Today, over one thousand three hundred political prisoners remain detained in Belarus. Moreover, the repression by the Belarusian regime of persons belonging to minorities, such as the Polish minority, is gravely concerning.
Despite this grave situation, Belarusian activists continue to show great courage in their fight for the public’s enjoyment of their fundamental human rights. The recent harsh sentencing of Belarusian journalist Katsiaryna Andreyeva and Belarusian activists Maria (Marfa) Rabkova and Andrey Chapiuk are a stark reminder of the risks they take.
We call on Belarus to adhere to its international commitments and obligations under human rights law. We request an immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners and other arbitrarily detained persons. The rights of persons belonging to minorities likewise need to be respected, including their right to foster their ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious identity.
The international community must send a strong message that we stand united for a democratic Belarus. Iceland certainly does so.