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Belarus prevents the UN from monitoring human rights

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The Belarus government suppression of human rights organizations restricted the United Nations’ ability to document violations, the UN envoy said on Thursday.

Several rounds of international sanctions have been imposed on Belarus after its pressure on mass protests against President Alexander Lukashenko.

Lukashenko’s opponents say he won last year’s presidential election using fraud.

However, he denies the aforementioned allegation.

In Belarus’ latest violations against Lukashenko’s opponents, security police searched the properties of lawyers and activists on 14 July.

The police detained at least ten people, including the leader of the human rights group ‘Viasna-96‘.

The UN Special Rapporteur Anais Marin said that the restraints on the largest human rights body in Belarus are hindering international monitoring in the region.

Authorities banned Marin from entering Belarus, and she said testimonies from Viasna and its volunteers are important in her mission.

“The terrible repression that is currently targeting Viasna has a direct negative impact on our capacity in Geneva,” she said.

“This would hinder following human rights violations […], and this is probably no coincidence”, she added.

Appearing in a video-link, the rapporteur said the detention of Viasna’s leader is “arbitrary” and his prosecution “politically motivated.”

She called for their immediate release and urged the government not to harm or subject them to ill-treatment in detention.

“Last year, I assessed the situation in Belarus as catastrophic. I’m lacking words now to interpret the situation,” Marin said.

Belarusian authorities sentenced Maria Kolesnikova on Monday to 11 years in prison.

Kolesnikova is a leader of the mass street demonstrations last year. Her imprisonment led to an uproar in Western countries.

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