Linkevičius: We must demand accountability for serious human rights violations in Belarus
On 4 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius attended an Arria-formula meeting at the UN Security Council to discuss human rights in Belarus. The meeting was organized on the initiative of Estonia.
The meeting was also co-sponsored by Lithuania, Latvia, the United Kingdom, the U.S.A., Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, Poland, and Canada. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu chaired the meeting. The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus Anaïs Marin, the Belarusian opposition leader, former candidate for the presidential elections Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and human rights defenders presented the human rights situation in Belarus. The Ministers of the UN member states and other representatives also spoke up in the meeting. The participants of the meeting stressed that human rights violations in Belarus by the authorities against their own citizens raised international concerns. Therefore, appropriate measures must be taken.
“Illegal detentions, imprisonment, torture, forced disappearances on behalf of the government, suspected sexual violence and killings in Belarus require the international community’ reaction. It is necessary to protect the journalists and to reinforce the activities of human rights defenders, supporting the determination of Belarusians to seek democracy and to organize new presidential elections,” said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister.
Linkevičius called on the international community to respond unanimously and resolutely to the extremely bad human rights situation in Belarus and to request an independent international investigation into serious human rights violations in Belarus.
Estonia was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.