Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Rights groups demand participation in Belarus-EU human rights dialogue

By Alyaksey Alyaksandraw, BelaPAN

Belarusian human rights groups have issued a joint statement to demand participation in the human rights dialogue between the Belarusian government and the European Union.

In a statement issued shortly before another round of the dialogue, the groups stress that they should be "involved in the process."

They note the lack of progress on human rights in Belarus and warn that "internal dialogue" is key to the improvement of the country's human rights record.
"In this context we urge the government to establish a dialogue on human rights between government institutions and human rights organizations and draw up a National Human Rights Plan in cooperation with them," says the statement.

The groups also call on the government to observe Belarus' international commitments and take measures to implement decisions made by the UN Human Rights Committee.

The statement has been signed by, among others, the Vyasna Human Rights Center, the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Center for Legal Transformation and the Belarusian Association of Journalists.