Written answers

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-Galway, Independent)
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307. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the efforts he can undertake to raise awareness through the EU of the plight of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27740/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Ireland strongly condemns the ongoing repression in Belarus. While security forces continue to act with impunity, ordinary citizens face lengthy sentences and heavy fines for even the most trivial expressions of dissent. This is an issue of concern across the political spectrum in Europe and many members of the Oireachtas, and Irish MEPs, joined a Belarusian civil society campaign earlier this year to raise awareness of political prisoners.

Ireland and the EU have repeatedly called for the immediate and unconditional release of all those unjustly detained, including political prisoners such as the individual in question. Our Embassy accredited to Belarus are aware of this case and his situation is part of internal EU officials' discussions. The EU will continue to raise their cases in international settings.

It is also imperative that those responsible for human rights violations are brought to justice and made accountable for their actions. In that regard, Ireland played a constructive role in the successful adoption of an EU-led resolution at the UN Human Rights Council that extended the mandate of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate human rights violations in Belarus.

The High Commissioner is currently assembling her team and we welcome the recent appointments of expert investigators. Ireland is also supportive of other international accountability efforts that complement the High Commissioner's investigation. Along with our EU and international partners, we will continue to press the Lukashenko regime to adhere to their international obligations and to fully respect the human rights of the Belarusian people.


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