UN Office in Belarus helped protesters pay for lawyers

MINSK (RIA Novosti): The United Nations office in Belarus illegally used the organization’s funds to pay for the services of lawyers for 23 Belarusians who participated in last year’s opposition protests, the republic’s permanent mission to the UN office and other international organizations in Geneva said.

At the end of September, Belarusian Foreign Mini-ster Vladimir Makei said that some UN representatives in the republic used the organization’s funds allocated for people with disabilities to support the protesters. Then the minister did not disclose details.

“The Human Rights Ad-viser appointed by the Off-ice of the United Nations High Commissioner for H-uman Rights to the office of the United Nations Reside-nt Coordinator in the Re-public of Belarus initiated the misuse of Office of the United Nations High Com-missioner for Human Righ-ts funds, which were inten-ded to provide legal assistance to persons with disab-ilities or victims of domestic violence,” the statement said. It is noted that “in August 2020, after outside riots in Belarus that followed the announcement of the results of the election campaign, on the initiative and with the further support of a United Nations official, two employees of the UN office in Belarus, with full awareness of the illegality of their actions, was developed and an illegal scheme was implemented to pay for the services of lawyers to Belarusian citizens who are neither persons with disabilities nor victims of domestic violence. “

“These citizens participated in illegal protest actions aimed at undermining statehood and overthrowing the current government. As a result, lawyers were financed to protect 23 citizens,” the statement said.

After the presidential elections in Belarus on August 9, 2020, in which Alexander Lukashenko won for the sixth time, who, according to the CEC, gained 80.1% of the vote, massive opposition protests began in the country, to suppress which the security forces, among other things, used special means and special equipment.

On February 11, the KGB of Belarus announced that the manifestations of protests had practically disappeared.

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