Thank you Madame President,
Iceland aligns itself with the Nordic-5 Joint Statement in this debate.
The recent election in Belarus was neither free nor fair. The subsequent use of widespread violence against peaceful demonstrators, journalists and other media workers has been deeply troubling. Harassment, persecution, and unlawful detention of political activists, human rights defenders and others must be condemned.
Freedom of speech, freedom of the media and the right to peacefully demonstrate are universal rights that must be protected and respected in all circumstances.
All perpetrators of human rights violations must be held accountable. We urge Belarussian authorities to release unlawfully detained persons and support efforts to conduct an independent and transparent investigation into allegations of torture, sexual and gender-based violence, and other ill-treatment of detained persons.
We will continue to support a democratic, independent, and prosperous Belarus and call on the current Government to initiate a dialogue that will contribute to that end; as well as foster a new climate of respect for human rights and democracy.
I thank you.