U.N. approves EU resolution on monitoring Belarus human rights

FILE PHOTO: United Nations' High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet speaks with the President of the Human Rights Council Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger during the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European U.N. headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland September 14, 2020. Martial Trezzini/Pool via REUTERS

GENEVA (Reuters) - The Human Rights Council agreed to a resolution submitted by the European Union to launch closer U.N. monitoring of alleged rights violations in Belarus, despite multiple attempts by Russia to water it down.

Council President Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger announced that there were 23 votes in favour, 2 against and 22 abstensions at the 47-member state Geneva forum.

Russia, which does not have a vote as an observer, submitted 17 amendments to the resolution, but all were rejected. The Council gave the office of U.N. rights boss Michelle Bachelet a mandate to closely monitor the situation in Belarus and submit an oral report with recommendations by year-end.

Reporting by Emma Farge and Stephanie Nebehay