Belarus and its allies have repeatedly tried to muzzle speakers at the UN amid warnings of a new iron curtain falling across Europe during an ill-tempered debate on alleged human rights violations.
The body’s 47-member human rights council voted by 23 votes to two with 22 abstentions to adopt a resolution condemning rights violations in Belarus and requesting the UN high commissioner on Human Rights to take up the issue and report back to the council.
The debate was repeatedly interrupted by the Belarus representative, backed by delegates from Russia, China and Venezuela, who tried to limit presentations – including from Alexander Lukashenko’s main election challenger, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, on procedural grounds.
Tikhanovskaya’s short video message had barely begun when the Belarusian representative, Yuri Ambrazevich, demanded it be switched off. He repeatedly interrupted the screening, raising procedural objections and insisting her words had “no relevance on the…