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HRC45: Danish Foreign Minister, on behalf of all Nordic countries, expresses deep concern about the failure of the Belarusian authorities to respect and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms

Human Rights Council, 45th session
Urgent debate on Belarus
18th of September 2020
Joint Nordic statement delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Mr Jeppe Kofoed

Madame President,
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and my own country Denmark.
We thank the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur for their independent assessments of the grave human rights situation in Belarus, and the other speakers for their testimonies.

The human rights situation in Belarus has been grim for decades. Intimidation and repression have systematically been used as tactics by the authorities. In recent months, the situation has deteriorated alarmingly. We therefore welcome this important and timely urgent debate on the human rights situation in Belarus.
The people of Belarus are asking for their human rights to be respected and for their voices to be heard. The presidential election in August was neither free nor fair. The population was deprived of the opportunity to decide over the future of their country.

The Nordic countries are deeply concerned about the failure of the Belarusian authorities to respect and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Not least freedom of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of opinion and expression, both online and offline.
We are alarmed by the credible allegations of widespread torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. We call for full accountability for those responsible. Furthermore, we call on the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all those unlawfully detained.

Finally, we welcome the start of an independent OSCE fact-finding mission, under the Moscow Mechanism, as a very important step.

Madame President,
We cannot stand by silently as we witness such appalling human rights violations. The Nordic countries therefore strongly support the adoption of the presented resolution today. We stand in solidarity with the Belarusian people in their fight for their rights and their future.
Thank you.