UN rights council condemns Belarus crackdown

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The UN Human Rights Council on Friday condemned Belarus' crackdown on the opposition and asked the UN rights chief to monitor and to issue a report on the situation in the country.

The council adopted the resolution put forward by Hungary on behalf of the European Union with 21 votes in favour, five against and 19 abstentions, despite an outcry from Belarus which described the move as "interference in internal affairs".

The resolution "condemns the human rights violations" occurring before, during and after the disputed December presidential elections.

It asks the UN High Commisioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to monitor the situation in the country, and to make a preliminary assessment to the council during its September sitting.

Belarus angrily condemned the resolution.

"The European Union resolution against Belarus is a virus which eats away at the Human Rights Council," said Belarus' envoy.

"Belarus categorically rejects interference in internal affairs ... under the pretext of protecting human rights. We see this resolution as a clear embodiment of such action and we reject it," said the envoy.

Belarus also said that the resolution is "an attempt to drag the Human Rights Council into a review of a political file fabricated by Brussels against Belarus because of the failed coup d'etat scenario during the presidential elections in our country last December".

President Alexander Lukashenko won the December presidential elections with a landslide victory which has been condemned as unfair by European observers.

Since the disputed polls, the government has launched a crackdown on protestors and imprisoned several opposition leaders.

© 2011 AFP

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