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Published: 5 february 2013 08:50

Lithuania slams Belarusian "report" on human rights

Baltarusijos vėliava
„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Baltarusijos vėliava

A report published by Belarus on Monday has nothing to do with the analysis or evaluation of human rights situation in the world, Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs comments.

In a statement sent to BNS, the ministry underlined that "the document designed to evaluate human rights situation in the European Union and NATO countries has been produced by a country which itself refused to cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders."

"Such "evaluations" and attempts by Belarus to present false stories and interpretations of other circumstances under the cover of human rights are unacceptable and have nothing to do with the analysis or evaluation of the situation of human rights in the world," the ministry's Information and Public Relations Department said.

The Belarusian regime, which has been subject to sanctions by the West for repressions against the opposition and civil activists, published a report on human rights violations in the United States and several dozen European countries, including Lithuania.

The document, published on the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website, reviews human rights violations in 21 EU member states, the United States, Canada, Norway, and Switzerland. Russia and other post-Soviet countries are not mentioned in the report.

Lithuanian political experts interviewed by BNS say the move by Alexander Lukashenko's regime only shows that it believes the best defense is a good offense.

In the section on Lithuania, Belarus mentions six types of violations. The freedom of expression was violated following court rulings against Dainius Radzevičius, president of the Lithuanian Journalists' Union, in a defamation case; and Algirdas Paleciskis for the denial of Soviet aggression.

Minsk also called the ban for ex-President Rolandas Paksas to run for parliament "political persecution", and referred to "racial discrimination" citing a nationalist march in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania, on February 16 last year and a monument unveiled at a restored bunker in Šilutė District built by Lithuanian guerilla fighters who fought against the Soviet occupation.

The document also states that the right to peaceful assembly is restricted in Lithuania through restrictions on strikes, the right to privacy is violated based on the criminal intelligence law, and the risk of poverty violates economic and social rights.

Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makey said the report was aimed at "attracting attention to human rights violations in countries which traditionally introduce themselves as "developed democracies."

Belarus has been subject to Western sanctions after the Belarusian regime's crackdown on the opposition following the presidential elections in December 2010 when a number of Lukashenko's opponents were arrested.

The EU banned over 200 individuals affiliated with the regime from entering the EU and froze their bank accounts.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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