Polish FM vows continued support for Belarus at HRC's special session

Poland will continue to support Belarusian society in its pursuit of the full use of fundamental freedoms and its determination to live in a democratic country, Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau told the UN Human Rights Council's Friday debate on Belarus.

An urgent debate of the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, devoted to the human rights situation in Belarus, was convened at the formal request of the EU member states, which was strongly sought by Poland.

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 an August 9 election, Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected for a 6th term as the country's president, having allegedly acquired 80.1 percent of the vote, his main contender Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya ostensibly garnering 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.