House of Lords written question – answered at on 29 November 2011.

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Photo of Lord Ashcroft Lord Ashcroft Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the statement issued by the International Democrat Union expressing their concerns about Belarus and the prosecution of Ales Bialiatski.

Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (International Energy Policy)

The Government share the International Democratic Union's deep concerns over the deterioration of human rights in Belarus. We continue to be at the forefront of efforts within the European Union and the wider international community to maintain political pressure on the Belarusian authorities to urge them to adhere to their human rights obligations. We have consistently called upon the Belarusian authorities to recognise the rule of law and democratic freedoms, free political prisoners and end human rights abuse. On 6 August, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend Mr Lidington expressed his deep concern about the detention of human rights defender Ales Bialyatski and called on the Belarusian authorities "to ensure the rights and freedoms of all human rights defenders are fully upheld in accordance with the international treaties that the Government of Belarus has ratified".

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