Updated at 11:25,18-04-2018

Belarusian official: EU should improve its own human rights record


The European Union`s member states should improve their own human rights records before criticizing the situation in other countries, Yawhen Lazaraw, a deputy departmental head at the Belarusian foreign ministry, said during a discussion in Geneva on March 5.

The discussion involved the UN Human Rights Council`s special rapporteurs on torture and the situation of human rights defenders.

Mr. Lazaraw welcomed steps by the UN rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders to monitor the situation in Western countries, said the Belarusian foreign ministry`s press office. The rapporteur has recently visited Ireland, finding flaws in the European Union country, according to the Belarusian official.

At the same time, Mr. Lazaraw reportedly said that the rapporteur had failed to present her vision of criteria for determining the difference between political figures, extremists, criminals and even terrorists.

Mr. Lazaraw said that the UN rapporteur on torture should pay attention to the situation in "secret CIA prisons" and failure by countries that hosted such facilities to investigate their operation.

The Belarusian official suggested that the rapporteur visit the Czech Republic, which is believed to have hosted a US "black site", to conduct an independent inquiry in accordance with international standards.