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U.N. human rights chief says reports of Belarus violence are alarming

FILE PHOTO: High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet speaks during an urgent debate on current racially inspired human rights violations, systematic racism, police brutality against people of African descent and violence against peaceful protests at the High-Level Segment of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland June 17, 2020. Martial Trezzini/Pool via REUTERS

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations human rights chief said on Monday her office was receiving “alarming reports” of the ongoing violent repression of peaceful demonstrations in Belarus.

“Reports continue to indicate unnecessary or excessive use of force by law enforcement officials,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet told a council meeting in Geneva where an urgent debate on Belarus is planned.

She said there had been “limited evidence” of any steps by Belarus authorities to address reports of human rights violations.

Reporting by Emma Farge and Silke Koltrowitz