Updated at 13:21,04-09-2023

Minsk rejects cooperation with UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur


The Belarusian government does not intend to cooperate with Miklos Haraszti, who was appointed to the position of the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on Belarus on September 28.

Mr. Haraszti, a Hungarian politician, headed OSCE election observation missions in different countries and served as OSCE Media Freedom Representative.

The UN agency restored the position of the Council's rapporteur on Belarus this past July, much to the dismay of the Belarusian government, which warned that it would not recognize the mandate of the rapporteur or cooperate with any person appointed to the position.

Speaking in Geneva on Friday, Mikhail Khvastow, Belarus’ permanent representative to the United Nations, confirmed that the country would not cooperate with the rapporteur.

He referred to Mr. Haraszti’s "past experience," which he said will prevent him from "carrying out his mandate in an objective and impartial fashion." He said that Belarus would continue to ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms and within its jurisdiction, the rights of its own citizens, via the law, and not via the "sentiments of the special rapporteur." The diplomat condemned what he called the European Union’s initiatives in the UN Human Rights Council as a "political campaign of defamation against Belarus."

Mr. Khvastow warned that the special rapporteur’s work would directly depend on the position of Brussels.

Then Belarusian diplomat stressed that the restoration of the mandate of special rapporteur on Belarus would not help EU countries divert attention from their own human rights problems. He referred to police crackdowns on street protests in Spain and Greece, as well as other alleged human rights abuses in the 27-nation bloc.