The UN human rights report on Belarus is worrying, but there is precious little the UN can do

UN human rights report on Belarus
Photo by the UN-aligned design team.

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus, Anaïs Marin, issued her annual report on June 29, which paints a dire picture of tightening legislation and diminishing civil and political rights.

She said that the situation has been deteriorating steadily since the UN OHCHR condemned the violent crackdowns against mass protests challenging the presidential elections held in August 2020.

The rapporteur also highlighted that the constitutional referendum held on February 27, which endorsed further oppression, was neither free nor fair.

The sinister reforms included the extension of the death penalty to “planning” or “attempting” to commit what the State can arbitrarily define as terrorist acts.

Moreover, the report claims: “Systemic human rights violations and impunity for those crimes have engulfed Belarus in a climate of arbitrariness and fear…” 

What the UN will do about it is another matter. With Moscow firmly supporting Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko there is probably precious little the UN will be able to do.

The report will probably generate the usual expressions of concern, only to end up joining the ever-increasing shelves gathering reports on abusive governments… and dust.

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The Gordian

EU’s Struggle with Justice: Is the Cart Before the Horse?

Welcome to the July issue of The Gordian. The European Union is a remarkable institution, but the callous exclusivity of the block has risked making the Union a gentlemen’s club, whose head is very much up its own backside. The “Golden Curtain” of Europe is turning it into a fortress, a type of Noah’s Arc that cares little or nothing for the lives of others. In this issue, we will focus on justice across the European block.

This issue offers the usual mix of politics, interviews, culture, and galleries by our UN-aligneders across the world, including Ruby Goldenberg, Carla Pietrobattista, Katharina Wüstnienhaus, Nick Hautamaki, Victoria Davila, Partho Chatterjee and John C. 

The editors are Adrian Liberto and Ariana Yekrangi.

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