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Ambassador Sterk took part in the framework of the exchange of views with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Belarus

In the framework of the exchange of views with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Belarus on June 29 within the 50th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Bulgarian Permanent Representative in Geneva, Ambassador Yuri Sterk stated Bulgaria’s strong condemnation of the complicity of the Government of Belarus in Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine and expressed concern over the impending further deterioration of the difficult human rights situation in Belarus. The Bulgarian ambassador also expressed serious concerns about the ever-shrinking space for civil society, including the closure of more than 300 NGOs and the subsequent criminalization of participation in unregistered or banned organizations. The Bulgarian diplomat stated that the continuous persecution and arbitrary arrests of Belarusian government’s political opponents was a vivid proof that the provisions of the new Constitution from 27 February 2022 condoned further harassment and other forms of pressure on political activists, human rights defenders, journalists and ordinary citizens. The Ambassador reiterated Bulgaria’s support for the people of Belarus in their fight for fundamental human rights and freedoms, in conformity with the country’s international obligations, while we witness unrelenting attempts by the Government of Belarus to prevent justice, accountability and truth about the violations committed. In conclusion, H. E. Ambassador Sterk asked the Special Rapporteur to share her views on how to effectively second her call for full and non-selective engagement of the Government of Belarus with all United Nations human rights mechanisms, including the unhindered access to the territory.

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