A UN investigator, on Friday, warned of the possibility of another “iron curtain” descending in Europe during an urgent debate on the human rights situation in Belarus in Geneva.
“Let’s not allow another iron curtain to descend on the European continent” said Anaïs Marin, UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Belarus.
Marin, however, described it as a “catastrophic” situation in the country.
Her speech was interrupted several times by objections from other UN members including Russian, Belarusian and other delegations who called for the broadcast to stop.
The Iron Curtain was initially a non-physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991.
The term symbolises the efforts by the Soviet Union (USSR) to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and its allied states.
On the east side of the Iron Curtain were the countries that were connected to or influenced by the Soviet Union, while on the west side were the countries that were NATO members or nominally neutral.
Separate international economic and military alliances were developed on each side of the Iron Curtain.
It later became a term for the 7,000-kilometre-long (4,300 miles) physical barrier of fences, walls, minefields and watchtowers that divided the “east” and “west”.
The Berlin Wall was also part of this physical barrier.