Human Rights Council 47th session – Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Belarus, 5 July 2021, intervention by Estonia

Madame President,

Estonia fully aligns with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

Estonia thanks you for the report and highly appreciates your work.

Almost a year after the election with falsified results and beginning of peaceful protests, the human rights situation in Belarus continues to deteriorate. Authorities have refused any dialogue with citizens. Crackdowns on journalists, media workers, human rights defenders and civil society are just some examples of ongoing state-run repressions in Belarus.

It is a rather peculiar situation, but typical for current Belarus – human rights violations including the use of mental and physical violence against its citizens by an illegitimate regime are on the rise, while the country’s real sovereignty and independence is declining.

Ryanair passenger planes’ forced landing showed us that in addition to repressing the people of Belarus, the Lukashenko regime is also posing a serious threat to the citizens of other countries.

The law enforcement authorities enjoy full impunity. The death of political prisoner Vitold Ashurak in custody is another tragic proof.  We repeat: all arbitrarily detained persons must be released immediately and unconditionally and perpetrators must be held to account.

The recent decision of Belarus’ regime to suspend its participation in the EU Eastern Partnership format is yet another demonstration of the current regime’s full disregard for the Belarusian people, who have benefited a lot from the cooperation and various programs within the format.

Madam Special Rapporteur,

How could the international community support the Belarusian students who are suffering in defending their democratic views and civil rights?

Thank you!