Polish FM vows continued support for Belarus

Poland will carry on supporting Belarusian society in its pursuit of the full utilisation of fundamental freedoms and determination to live in a democratic country, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau told the UN Human Rights Council during its Friday debate on Belarus.

At the formal request of EU member states, and strongly sought by Poland, the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva convened an urgent debate, devoted to the human rights situation in Belarus.

During the debate, Rau voiced his concern about the alarming and unprecedented scale of repression against political opponents and civil society during the election campaign and after the announcement of the contested presidential vote results.

He said that Poland is appalled by the repeated mass detentions of peaceful protesters, enforced disappearances, and reports of torture and inhuman treatment, in particular violence against women and children.

The Polish official called on the Belarusian authorities to respect fundamental freedoms, release unlawfully detained people, and to bring those guilty of human rights violations to justice.

In the August election, the incumbent president, Alexander Lukashenko, was re-elected for a 6th term, having allegedly acquired 80.1 percent of the vote, while his main contender, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, ostensibly garnered a mere 10.1 percent. Mass demonstrations against what is considered to have been a rigged vote have been continuing ever since, sparking brutal reactions from the police and security forces