2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The Department of State submitted to the United States Congress on February 27 its 2013 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.  The report describes human rights conditions in almost 200 countries and territories.   It covers internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements.

The Belarus Country Chapter notes longstanding human rights concerns such as arbitrary detention, arrest, and imprisonment, including for political reasons, elections that do not meet international standards, lack of judicial independence,  and restrictions of freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association.

When he introduced the report, Secretary Kerry highlighted the cases of several prominent human rights defenders around the world, including Belarusian political prisoner Ales Byalyatski, who is “demanding justice and transparency and accountability in Belarus.”

The publication of this annual report reflects U.S. interest in, and support for, the advancement of human rights around the world.  The report (in English) can be found at http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.