UN appoints human rights investigator on Belarus
GENEVA (AP) -- A U.N. body has expressed "grave concern" over the human rights situation in Belarus and appointed an investigator to look into allegations of torture, poor treatment of prisoners and other abuses.
The 47-nation Human Rights Council announced its decision on Thursday.
It is appointing a special rapporteur for Belarus based on a report from the U.N. human rights office suggesting a pattern of "serious violations of human rights," including curbs on freedom of speech and assembly since President Alexander Lukashenko's re-election in December 2010.
Mikhail Khvostov, Belarus' ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, reacted to the council's decision by accusing the European Union of pushing its own political agenda. The EU and United States have accused Lukashenko's government of not fully cooperating with the U.N. human rights office.