U.N. Special Rapporteur Anaïs Marin compares Belarus to a totalitarian state.
U.S. envoy hints at possibility of further economic sanctions against Minsk.
Authorities have cracked down hard after massive anti-government protests erupted last summer over voter fraud allegations at an election that handed Alexander Lukashenko a new term as president.
Three opposition election candidates remain behind bars and tens of thousands of Belarusians flee to seek refuge abroad, Anaïs Marin said in her annual report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
The United States announced targeted sanctions against key members of the Belarusian government in May after the forced landing of a passenger jet and arrest of a dissident blogger in Minsk in May.
Several other delegates also criticized the plane incident at the council debate, including the UK’s ambassador, Simon Manley, who described it as “outrageous”.
The U.K. ambassador to the Geneva-based forum said it would consider further actions as necessary, in reference to sanctions against the former Soviet Republic’s government members of Minsk‘s forced landing in May.