The Belarusian Helsinki Committee appealed to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Opinion, Association, on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism and on Belarus in connection with the emerging draft law “On Amendments to the Laws on Combating Extremism”.
We noted that this draft law was not published on the official legal website pravo.by and did not undergo public hearings.
We believe that this draft law would directly affect the right to freedom of expression, the right to peaceful assembly, and to freedom of association.
We also reported that the above mentioned draft law was part of a series of legislative initiatives aimed at limiting human rights. The parliament is currently considering a draft law "On the prevention of glorification of Nazism", which may enact a legal ban on the use of the White-Red-White Flag and create a threat of prosecution for historical discussions. In addition, the parliament is considering the adoption of a law on foreign agents, similar to the one in place in the Russian Federation.
We requested that the thematic special rapporteurs contact the Government of the Republic of Belarus and seek additional information about the above mentioned draft laws aimed at restricting human rights and freedoms, the purpose of their adoption and possible negative impact on the realization of human rights.