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European Union

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 18 November 2021

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Ceisteanna (49)

Marian Harkin

Ceist:

49. Deputy Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the actions Ireland and the European Union are taking to support political prisoners in Belarus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56459/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Ireland has condemned the unjust detention of political prisoners in Belarus. We are committed to keeping the situation in the country high on the international agenda. It is unacceptable that the current regime detains individuals without due cause or process. Freedom of expression is a core element of civil society space which is a leading foreign policy priority for Ireland.

I know many members of the Oireachtas have 'adopted' political prisoners and I commend them for maintaining awareness of their plight.

Ireland has raised this and related issues at multiple international fora, including at informal meetings of United Nations Security Council members, sponsoring “Arria formula” discussions on Belarus. These are important ways to put additional pressure on the Lukashenko regime to adhere to their international obligations and commitments.

Ireland has also played a supporting role at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, where a successful EU-led resolution granted an investigative mandate to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to examine human rights violations. Along with our EU partners, we also secured a mandate renewal for the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.

Finally, Ireland is co-sponsoring a fifth package of sanctions against entities and individuals complicit in the Lukashenko regime’s human rights violations.

Question No. 50 answered with question No. 22
Question No. 51 answered with Question No. 25.
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