Wednesday, February 2, 2011


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today reiterated his call for the release of  journalists, opposition candidates and their supporters detained in Belarus after recent  presidential elections.

“The Secretary-General continues to call  for respect for the rule of law, democratic principles and protection of human  rights in Belarus,”  spokesman Farhan Haq told a news briefing in New York.

“He is concerned about reports of  harassment and continued detention of journalists, civil society activists and  opposition candidates. The Secretary-General reiterates his call for their  release and for the full adherence to due process.”

Mr. Ban also called for the release of  detainees last month following President Alexander Lukashenko’s victory in  December’s elections. Immediately after the poll, UN High Commissioner for  Human Rights Navi Pillay voiced deep concern at the post-electoral violence,  including the abduction of opposition candidates, and called for the immediate  release of those detained.

She had noted in particular that a leading  opposition candidate was attacked on his way to a mass rally in the capital, Minsk, hospitalized and  later abducted by unidentified persons. In addition, attempts by some radical  supporters of opposition candidates to break into a government building were  followed by mass detentions of opposition candidates and their supporters,  human rights activists and journalists, and harassment of civil society.

(UN Press Release)

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