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

FILE PHOTO: President of the Human Rights Council Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, wearing a protective face mask, attends the resuming of a United Nations Human Rights Council session before an urgent debate on allegations of "systemic racism, police brutality and violence against peaceful protests" in the United States following the death of George Floyd druing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Geneva, Switzerland, June 15, 2020. Fabrice Coffrini/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