The British foreign ministry on March 17 released a traditional annual report on the human rights situation in the world writes Ezhednevnik.
The list of the countries which, in the view of the British government, have a poor human rights record has not changed much compared to the last year's report. It includes Belarus, Russia, China, Cuba, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistant and Zimbabwe.
Regarding Belarus, the report mentions some positive developments after three political prisoners were released in August 2008 but it stresses that the civil society activists and the media have still been harassed. The report welcomes a dialogue of Belarus authorities with the EU over human rights but it condemns at the same time the excessive use of police force against demonstrators. Britain has also expressed concern over the hurdles in the operation of NGOs, the freedom of speech. But it also notes "the signs of changes".