Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called on the United Nations to condemn the crackdown by President Alexander Lukashenko on protesters who charge he rigged his re-election victory last month.
Speaking to a virtual informal session of the UN Security Council, Tsikhanouskaya also urged the United Nations to send an international monitoring mission to Belarus and said the UN Human Rights Commission should hold a special session on the human rights situation there.
"We, the Belarusian people, need the help of the United Nations, in order to stop blatant human rights violations and cynical disregard for human dignity," Tsikhanouskaya said in her first call for international involvement in the crisis.
"We ask the United Nations to condemn the use of excessive force by the Belarusian security services against protesters."
The opposition leader, who spoke from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius where she fled after Lukashenko launched his crackdown, called for a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to discuss the situation in Belarus.
Lukashenko, in power for 26 years, has denied accusations by the Belarus opposition that the August 9 vote was rigged and has resisted protesters' demands to step down.
"We urge the United Nations to send the needed international authority mission to Belarus to document the situation on the ground," Tsikhanouskaya said, adding that the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Belarus must be allowed free access to and movement in the country.