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  Saturday, December 14, 2019
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A resolution denouncing Belarus for human rights abuse narrowly outpolled at the United Nations human rights commission yesterday
Offered by the USA and the European Union, it scored 23 "yes" votes against 16 no's, with 17 abstainers. The commission has a total 53 member countries. "The resolution came as yet another attempt to misrepresent Belarussian developments to the world-that to justify its authors, who are out to meddle into domestic affairs of a sovereign country," says Sergei Aleinik, Belarus' permanent representative at the UN Geneva office. The United States, chief on the authors' team, is not beyond reproach by far, when it comes to human rights, he angrily added to prove his point by references to courts martial with sessions behind closed doors, mass arbitrary detentions, and torture as usual routine in US-controlled areas, especially at the Guantanamo base, Cuba, and in the Abu Ghraib jail, Iraq. Russia came against the resolution and proposed to vote its withdrawal from the agenda. China and Cuba offered support. The proposal was buried with 22 "yes" votes against 23 "no", seven abstaining. "This is the commission's bad day. It wasn't to regard the resolution at all. We can only regret our initiative was torpedoed to deal a hard blow on the commission's good name," Leonid Skotnikov, Russia's permanent representative at the UN Geneva office, said to Novosti. Russia was unpleasantly surprised to see Ukraine voting for the resolution, he added. Mr. Aleinik also said to Novosti the Ukrainian vote had "shocked and disappointed" him. "Neighbors never ought to behave that way if they respect each other. Yet we are sure our nations' friendship will eventually take the upper hand over blatant political time-serving, which the Ukrainian delegates demonstrated in Geneva." The resolution expresses profound concern with Belarussian senior government officials involved in coercive disappearance and/or execution with no proper judicial proceedings of three political opponents of the present regime, in 1999, and a journalist, 2000. The resolution insistently calls the Belarussian government to dismiss or remove those functionaries from office, and launch an independent and exhaustive investigation of those and similar cases. Also alarming the commission is Belarussian election organization and actual polls, arbitrary detentions and arrests, and NGOs, independent media outlets and political parties in opposition victimized and suppressed.
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